Man will go to trial for drive-by shooting |

Man will go to trial for drive-by shooting

Michael Schneider

A Roseville man will have to answer to charges of discharging a weapon at an occupied dwelling.

Judge Jerald Lasarow found sufficient evidence to bind Michael Vigil over for trial. Vigil appeared before Lasarow Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

Vigil was arrested by El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies on the morning of July 5.

Based on interviews with three other people who officers said were riding in a vehicle with Vigil, Sgt. Leslie Lovell testified that Vigil shot numerous rounds at a Meyers residence.

According to Lovell’s testimony, Vigil, who was in the back seat of the car behind the passenger’s seat, stuck his arm out the car’s window and fired seven or eight rounds from a .25 caliber handgun at an Apache Way residence.

Lovell said two of the passengers in the car told him the same story. District Attorney Lisa J. Serafini said the passengers would testify that Vigil shot the weapon at trial.

Under cross examination, Lovell did admit that he didn’t ask the witness also seated in the vehicle’s back seat if she shot the gun.

Lovell said sheriff’s officers went to the residence described by the other passengers and found five .25 shell casings in the area – three in front of the house that was the reported target and two in close proximity to the house. All the casings were found in the street, according to testimony.

Lovell said he contacted the house’s occupant who told Lovell he was sleeping at the time of alleged shots and didn’t hear anything. Lovell said officers were unable to find any bullets in the house.

Defense attorney Lawrence Samelson argued the prosecution failed to prove any humans were likely in danger as a result of the shooting. He also argued that hunters often shoot guns in situations where humans could be in danger and are not subject to similar prosecution.

“Why are hunters not prosecuted for discharging firearms when other hunters around them in the woods could be killed when people on the Fourth of July are prosecuted for discharging firearms?” Samelson questioned after the hearing.

Lasarow stopped Samelson in mid-argument, telling him the court didn’t have time to listen to his assertions. The judge said, if the prosecution’s contentions were true, there was a likelihood the defendant’s actions could cause injury or death.

Vigil will next appear for arraignment on Oct. 15. The charge can be filed by the District Attorney as a felony or misdemeanor. If convicted as a felony, Vigil could face prison time and the conviction would count as a “strike” under California’s three strikes law, Samelson said.

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