Plea deal possible in alleyway shooting case
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.