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The other firefighter talked Mots into slowing down long enough to let Rehrer out on the side of the highway. He finally did and then drove on. She found a pay phone and called her sister for a ride.
"He drove like that all the time," Rehrer says. "He was on a mission, no matter where he was going. There were so many bells and whistles going on that I was like, 'You're on a death wish, and I'm not going to be a part of it. I've already been through this.'"
Their relationship ended about two months after the accident.
Rehrer is now married to a conservative man; their family blends his three children and her three. Recounting, in front of strangers and her family, her days partying with Mots was embarrassing, but Rehrer kept it in perspective. "A child lost her father," Rehrer says. "Maybe this is my way of saying, you know, I'm sorry I didn't ask more questions back then."
Mots' second wife also testified against him. Tracy Mots, who dated Mots before he met Rehrer, began dating Mots again after he and Reher broke up. She married Mots in February 2002. According to depositions in the case, Mots drank heavily and smoked marijuana daily throughout their marriage. She filed for divorce in October 2003. "He was an everyday drinker," Tracy told attorneys in her deposition. If Mots went more than 12 hours without drinking, Tracy testified, he would start sweating and shaking.
At trial, however, Judge Wayne Lampson barred any testimony, references, evidence or suggestions regarding the possibility of Mots' habitual alcohol and drug use. Witnesses called by Cohen, the Becerras' attorney, could testify about Mots' drug and alcohol use only as it pertained to the 24 hours before the accident.
But Cohen was allowed to ask questions regarding Mots' failure to get drug-tested.
So Tracy could say, in front of the jury, that a friend of hers called her on the night of September 30, 2000, to report having seen Mots' accident on the news. Tracy said she called Mots to see if he was OK. On the phone, Tracy testified, "He told me that he was going to need to lay low for a while. He was afraid he was going to be drug tested." Tracy said she took that to mean that Mots had something in his system; otherwise, he would have volunteered for a drug test that night.
She was also allowed to talk about a cooler full of beer that Mots regularly transported to and from work in his truck, to which he would have had access the day of the accident.
The jury didn't hear one other detail in Tracy's deposition: While married, the couple was fighting about Mots' drinking, Tracy said. "And it was pretty heated. And I said, 'Are you going to wait until you kill somebody before you quit this?' And his response was, 'I already have.'"
Two jurors spoke to The Pitch on the condition of anonymity.
Because they didn't have the results of a drug test to prove he was impaired, the jury eventually decided to disregard Rehrer's testimony and all the testimony about Mots' drug and alcohol use. Instead, they focused on the facts of the case.