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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Passenger in Salinas shootout will not face charges - :

17:25 |

Passenger in Salinas shootout will not face charges - :: "No charges will be filed against a man who was a passenger when a shootout broke out with county Gang Task Force officers in Salinas on Dec. 11, the Monterey County District Attorney's Office said Monday.
Juan Anthony Ortiz, 37, was released from Monterey County Jail on Monday afternoon, according to jail records.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Terry Spitz said the jail had been notified by 'the end of the lunch hour' Monday that his office would not file charges against Ortiz, a decision likely to disappoint some local officers who believed he might be charged as an accomplice.

Both Ortiz and the man suspected of opening fire on the officers — Nicholas 'Nick' Martinez — are documented Sureño gang members, according to court records. But for prosecutors, the proof of Ortiz's involvement in a crime was apparently not there.

'A person may not be charged with a crime merely because he is present at the scene of a crime,' Spitz said. 'It would not be at all surprising that one gang member was encouraging the other, but we have to have proof about what was said, or definite actions.'"

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