WOODSTOCK — A judge put off bond hearings Friday for men accused of involvement in a shooting incident because authorities did not provide criminal complaints with the cases.
The four men charged with attempted malicious wounding and related offenses appeared in Shenandoah County General District Court for scheduled bond hearings. Judge Amy Tisinger saw the first defendant, Jose Santiago Garcia, charged in the court with two counts of attempted aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and conspiracy to use a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Strecky appeared for the prosecutor’s office. Charles Ramsey represented Santiago Garcia and asked the court to grant his client a bond.
As Tisinger considered the case and bond, she told the attorneys she wanted to read the criminal complaint – a common practice in such hearings.
“Where is the criminal complaint on this serious charge?” Tisinger asked, soon learning that none had been filed with the case documents.
“I assume there wasn’t one,” Strecky said. “(A criminal complaint) is not required. It’s up to the magistrate.”
“It should be,” Tisinger said.
The judge noted that a lack of a criminal complaint providing details of an alleged incident makes it difficult for her to determine if she should grant a bond for a defendant or keep the person held in jail. Tisinger asked Strecky if she had information related to the case, but the prosecutor said she did not.
Strecky then said as far as she knew the case involved two groups of people, one of which included Santiago Garcia, who fired a weapon into the other group. Ramsey said his client claims the shooting was in self defense.
Tisinger reiterated her concern about the lack of details provided to the court about the case given the “severity” of the charges.
“I don’t have any general idea of the level of the offense,” Tisinger said.
The judge said she would schedule another bond hearing for the defendant for Friday and asked Strecky to provide more specific information about the allegations at that time.
A similar situation occurred during a bond hearing for Cristian Rodriguez Santiago, charged with two counts of acting as a principal in the second degree to attempted aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated malicious wounding, conspiracy to use a firearm in commission of a felony and acting as a principal in the second degree to using a firearm in commission of a felony.
As Tisinger did in the previous defendant’s case, she noted a lack of a criminal complaint or details needed to determine bond. The judge also rescheduled his bond hearing for Friday.
Tisinger rescheduled a bond hearing to Friday for co-defendant Ferdinand Rodriquez Santiago, charged with two counts of acting as a principal in the second degree to attempted aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated malicious wounding, conspiracy to use a firearm in commission of a felony and acting as a principal in the second degree to using a firearm in commission of a felony.
The judge rescheduled a bond hearing to Friday for co-defendant Danny Olivera, charged with two counts of attempted aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and conspiracy to use a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said in an email Thursday that no criminal complaint had been filed with any of the defendants in the case. Carter said in another email that the magistrate usually requires arresting agents from his office to submit a criminal complaint with other charging documents.
Monica Martin, chief magistrate for the district, said Thursday that arresting officers are not required to submit a criminal complaint. A magistrate could ask an arresting officer to provide an oral recitation of the case information, Martin said. In some instances, she said, a commonwealth’s attorney may tell an officer to not submit a criminal complaint.
All four defendants remain held without bond at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail.
Deputies arrested Jose Santiago Garcia, 27, of Reading, Pennsylvania; Cristian Rodriguez Santiago, 18, of Edinburg; Ferdinand Rodriquez Santiago, 20, of Bernville, Pennsylvania; and Danny Olivera, 25, of Reading, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.
The Sheriff’s Office released some information about the alleged incident that involved the shooting of a firearm into an occupied vehicle in Woodstock. No one was shot in the incident and deputies found and apprehended the suspects in the Edinburg area, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Affidavits for search warrants filed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Friday provided some details about the alleged shooting. Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office investigators sought the warrants for DNA samples and to search the suspect vehicle, a 2001 Dodge Saturn with Pennsylvania license plates.
The affidavit states that a woman called 911 shortly after 1:20 a.m. Tuesday that “someone shot up her vehicle while it was occupied near 263 Lakeview Drive” outside Woodstock in Shenandoah County. Authorities issued an alert to look out for a possible suspect vehicle, later identified as the Saturn, the affidavit states. Authorities found the Saturn in Edinburg and seized a firearm from the vehicle “consistent with evidence recovered at the shooting location,” according to the affidavit.
Authorities seized green, leafy plant material as well as a .22-caliber bullet, five 9-mm bullets, one spent 9-mm bullet casing and a camouflage jacket, according to an inventory of items collected in the vehicle search.