Clad in a beige jumpsuit, a cast on one arm and a handcuff linking his other to his waist, Yevgeniy Pavlovich Savinskiy asked Clatsop County Circuit Court Judge Cindee Matyas for a Russian interpreter.
Now, his arraignment has been rescheduled.
"For legal languages, it's difficult to understand. A lot of new words I don't know how to understand it," the 37-year-old Washougal, Wash., man told the court.
Attorney John Orr was appointed by the court to represent Savinskiy. He also asked Matyas for the translator on behalf of his client.
"It's one thing to be conversant in the English language. It's another thing to be conversant in legal terminology," Orr said. "In criminal matters, one should err on the side of caution so there's no misunderstandings that can reverberate in the future."
But District Attorney Josh Marquis wasn't buying it. "The defendant has been a United States citizen since 2007, he's lived in the United States since he was 17," Marquis said. "He's fluent in the English language, as far as I and the officers can tell. He's conversed with them and he runs businesses.
"I don't know if the standard is if someone wants an interpreter, we stop everything and get him one ..."
Matyas said they would reset the hearing for 1:15 p.m. today.
Savinskiy is facing 13 counts as a suspect in the Feb. 12 officer-involved shooting at the Lamplighter Motel.
Those counts include six felonies - two counts of attempted aggravated murder, two counts of first-degree attempted assault, attempt to elude and identity theft. Seven charges are misdemeanors, carrying a possible one-year jail sentence - attempted possession of a firearm silencer, attempted possession of a destructive device and five counts of recklessly endangering another person.
He was shot twice in the arm - once in the wrist and once in the shoulder - after pulling a gun on Astoria Police officers more than a week ago. He then fled from his motel room in a rented van down U.S. Highway 101 with officers from throughout the county on his trail. He entered U.S. Highway 26, at times reaching 110 miles per hour, when he was spike-stripped and rammed by a Clatsop County Sheriff's deputy vehicle eight miles later. He was subsequently taken into custody.
Savinskiy was released from a Portland-area hospital Friday. Police said he told them he feared for his life and had received death threats before the incident. Court records show he is a co-owner of Luxury Auto Sales LLC in Portland, which is accused of being in a Ponzi-like scheme, and is being sued for a total of approximately $8 million.
Officers located an assault rifle and materials to manufacture a silencer in his hotel room Feb. 12. They located a bloody handgun on the console of his vehicle when it was brought to a stop. He told officers at the time he was carrying the weapons for protection, police said.
He is scheduled to appear in courtroom 100 again today via video and will be provided with a translator. Orr asked which dialect he will need, but he said he does not need a dialect, only one for the Russian language.
Orr also said he and his client would waive the 36-hour right of arraignment for purposes of accommodating his request for an interpreter.