[Masthead] Fair ~ 45°F  
High: 65°F ~ Low: 53°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Court date on hold for alleged shooter; victim out of hospital

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The preliminary hearing to determine if an Albert City man will face attempted murder charges was delayed Tuesday. The hearing was continued to 3 p.m. May 2.

Buena Vista County Attorney Phil Havens said the hearing of Ulises Tomas Morales-Garcia, 20, was continued by mutual consent of the defense and prosecution. Morales-Garcia is charged with two counts of attempted murder in the April 13 shooting of two men. If convicted, he could spend up to 25 years in prison for each count.

Havens said the preliminary hearing could be omitted if he files the trial information of the case by Monday.

"I certainly am going to try," Havens said.

Once the information is filed, Morales-Garcia will appear before a judge to plead 'guilty' or 'not guilty' to the crime. If he pleads 'not guilty' a trial date will be set.

Morales-Garcia turned himself in to police April 15 after being wanted by the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Department in connection with the April 13 shooting. He was booked into the Buena Vista County Jail under $100,000 bond. Records say Andrew Smith of the Public Defender's Office will defend Morales-Garcia.

The Sheriff's Department reports that Chris Wunder, Spencer, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities, has been released from the hospital. There is no further word on the condition of Harry William Ritchard, Royal, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head area.

According to Sheriff's Department reports, four men were involved in an alleged drug transaction on 90th Avenue, rural Storm Lake, when one pulled out a gun and shot two others. Sheriff Chuck Eddy said a "white powdery substance" was found during the investigation. It has been sent for analysis.

Uriel Saragoza is also in custody in connection with the shooting as a material witness. According to a sheriff's department report in Morales-Garcia's court file Saragoza recently moved to Storm Lake from Los Angeles, Calif., to find work. The report said Saragoza had assaulted Wunder. He is charged with Interference with an Official Act and being held under $65,000 bond. A hearing on whether he can continue to be held as a material witness will be held May 9.

Havens declined to comment whether further charges would be filed against any of the other people involved in the incident.

The sheriff's department reports about 10 p.m. April 13 the Buena Vista County Communications Center received an emergency call for medical assistance.

Deputies found Wunder in the vicinity of 90th Avenue and 580th Street with gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities. Shortly after the first call came in a second call for assistance was received. Ritchard was found at 885 570th St. with a gunshot wound to the head area. Both men were taken to Buena Vista Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to Mercy Medical Center, Sioux City. Ritchart was later transferred to a hospital in Omaha, Neb. for further treatment. Both men identified Morales-Garcia to authorities as the shooter the night of the attack, according to court documents.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: