Authorities announced Tuesday that they arrested a 31-year-old Scottsdale, Arizona man in connection with a vehicle-to-vehicle shooting on the 91 Freeway that took place just over a week ago.
The incident, as discussed in an earlier blog, took place near the 91/5 freeway interchange in Fullerton. The victim of the shooting, a man who happens to have a background in law enforcement, was shot three times in the arm. According to the victim, he pursued the shooter in his vehicle and called 911.
The California Highway Patrol joined in the chase and ended up detaining the suspect near the 91 Freeway at Weir Canyon. The man was arrested and booked for attempted murder and is being held on $500,000 bail. If he is tried and convicted, he may face 25 years to life in prison.
The victim has stated that he does not know the shooter and is unsure of what provoked the attack in the first place. Investigators believe that road rage may have been a factor in the shooting.
Attempted Murder Charges in California
In a case such as this, the defendant is facing one of the most serious types of criminal charges: attempted murder. A person may be charged with this crime under California Penal Code § 664, which applies to attempted crimes. Although § 664 states that a defendant may face half the penalties for attempting a crime, with attempted murder a defendant may face up to life in prison. Additional penalties may include victim restitution, a fine of up to $10,000 and the loss of the right to own a firearm.
To effectively prove attempted murder, the prosecution must show:
- The defendant took at least one direct, though ineffective, a step toward killing another person; and
- The defendant intended to kill that person.
In the case discussed above, the defendant is likely to face attempted murder charges based on allegations that he shot a firearm into another person's vehicle and caused bodily injury to the victim. Because the victim sustained gunshot wounds in his torso, the prosecution may argue that this shows intent to kill, rather than an attempt to injure. Due to the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, California Penal Code § 26100 drive-by shootings and § 246 shooting at an inhabited dwelling or occupied car may also apply.
In addition to facing 25 years to life in prison, the Arizona man accused of the 91 Freeway shooting may get a strike on his record. If he is convicted and released from prison after serving his sentence, this strike will influence any future criminal convictions by enhancing the penalties he faces, and if he gets a third strike he may face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Interested in finding out what steps can be taken to challenge attempted murder charges or other serious criminal allegations? The best person to address your concerns is a skilled criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, we offer experienced defense counsel to clients across Orange County in a wide range of misdemeanor and felony cases, including attempted murder and murder. To talk about your case, your rights and your options, please call our offices for a confidential consultation.