Plea deal pos­si­ble in al­ley­way shoot­ing case

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY JAMES GIL­BERT @YSJAMESGILBERT James Gil­bert can be reached at jgilbert@ yu­masun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Face­book at www.Face­book.com/ YSJamesGilbert or on Twit­ter @YSJamesGilbert.

A plea of­fer is in the works for one of the two sus­pects charged in con­nec­tion to a shoot­ing in a Yuma al­ley­way ear­lier this year, which is why his at­tor­ney re­quested a 60-day con­tin­u­ance dur­ing a hear­ing in Yuma County Su­pe­rior Court on Wed­nes­day.

Ar­mando Mon­tano had been sched­uled to ap­pear at the hear­ing to have a trial date set, but Su­pe­rior Court Judge Bran­don Kin­sey was in­stead in­formed by Mon­tano’s de­fense at­tor­ney that a res­o­lu­tion has pos­si­bly been reached.

At­tor­ney Terri L Capozzi of the Le­gal De­fender’s Of­fice rep­re­sents Mon­tano. Capozzi ex­plained that she had spo­ken with the pros­e­cu­tor as­signed to the case and a plea deal had been of­fered to her client, but that she had not re­ceived it yet.

“My client is in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a change of plea,” Capozzi said.

She went on to say that the rea­son she re­quested such a lengthy con­tin­u­ance was that it had not been writ­ten yet, and that once it is, it will need to go through the vic­tim no­ti­fi­ca­tion process. Ad­di­tion­ally, she would also need time to dis­cuss it with her client.

After hear­ing no op­po­si­tion from the pros­e­cu­tion, Kin­sey granted Capozzi’s re­quest for a con­tin­u­ance, but not for as long as she had asked for. Mon­tano’s next court ap­pear­ance for a change of plea hear­ing was sched­uled for 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 5. A sta­tus hear­ing for a pro­ba­tion vi­o­la­tion against her client will also be held at the same time.

Mon­tano, who re­mains in cus­tody at Yuma County jail on a $250,000 cash-only bond, has been charged with two counts of at­tempted mur­der, two counts of ag­gra­vated as­sault with a deadly weapon, and one count each of crim­i­nal dam­age and ag­gra­vated as­sault with in­tent to cause se­ri­ous phys­i­cal in­jury.

The shoot­ing hap­pened at about noon on May 23, with of­fi­cers re­spond­ing to a re­port of shots fired in the area of the 2000 block of South Av­enue A.

When of­fi­cers ar­rived on scene, they dis­cov­ered a shoot­ing had hap­pened in an al­ley­way be­tween Av­enue A and 11th Av­enue. The ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that three ve­hi­cles were in­volved in the in­ci­dent and that mul­ti­ple shots had been fired.

All three cars left the scene fol­low­ing the shoot­ing, with one run­ning into the back wall of the All Sea­sons Florist build­ing, which is lo­cated in the 2000 block of South Av­enue A.

Both of the in­jured in­di­vid­u­als — a male and a fe­male — were in the same car and were able to drive them­selves to Yuma Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, where they were treated for in­juries that were not life-threat­en­ing.

Later that af­ter­noon, at about 1:30 p.m., one of the ve­hi­cles in­volved was lo­cated in Somer­ton. Due to the sever­ity of the crime, the Yuma Po­lice De­part­ment’s Spe­cial En­force­ment Team was deployed to the area of Somer­ton Av­enue and Ful­ton Street, where the sus­pect was pre­sumed to be hid­ing.

Po­lice even­tu­ally ar­rested 33-year-old Daniel Munoz, who has since been charged with two counts of at­tempted mur­der, two counts of ag­gra­vated as­sault with a deadly weapon, and one count each of ag­gra­vated as­sault with in­tent to cause se­ri­ous phys­i­cal in­jury and crim­i­nal dam­age.

AR­MANDO MON­TANO

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