Murder suspect deemed flight risk
MARKLEVILLE — Alan Turner has been the district attorney for sparsely populated Alpine County for five years.
Since taking the elected position, he doesn’t remember handling a gun violence case like Michael Craig’s. Craig is accused of firing rifle shots at his girlfriend on Nov. 12.
Craig, 45, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault with a firearm, gross negligence discharge of a weapon and shooting at a dwelling. He allegedly fired three bullets at his 54-year-old girlfriend who sat in a Dodge pickup.
Craig was being held at El Dorado County Jail on $1 million bail. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
He appeared before Alpine County Superior Court Judge David DeVore on Tuesday in an orange jail jumpsuit and purple boat shoes for a preliminary hearing which was continued. Craig repeatedly tapped his feet, pausing once to scan the small courtroom behind brown plastic-rimmed glasses.
Defense attorney Jordan Morgenstern requested the continuance so he could investigate transcripts of taped interviews that he received from Turner prior to the start of the hearing.
“There could be some really telling evidence and I would not be comfortable representing my client in an attempted (murder) case” without that information, Morgenstern said.
Turner agreed to the request. The preliminary hearing and bail review are scheduled for Dec. 19 at 9:30 a.m. in Markleville.
“These are serious charges,” Turner said. “The people won’t object to a continuance.”
The attempted murder charge carries 15 years to life, while the remaining three charges carry a maximum of 12 years in state prison.
After the agreement to continue the hearing, Morgenstern attempted to lower Craig’s bail. A clean criminal history and a start-up business importing handcrafted skis from Switzerland are indicators Craig will not take flight, Morgenstern said.
Turner countered by saying Craig has taken numerous trips to Paris and Mexico and has “little or no incentive to stay in this country.”
“We practically never have a case like this in Alpine County and I do not want to be involved in a process where the defendant can be on the street and be a flight risk,” the district attorney said.
In the end, DeVore wanted more information on Craig from the probation department before lowering bail. Authorities say Craig suffers from mental illness and takes numerous prescriptions,
Alpine County sheriff’s deputies responded to Craig’s residence along Highway 88 in the Red Lake area after receiving a domestic violence call. The girlfriend was gone but Craig was found on the property. He surrendered peacefully and was taken to a mental health facility in Placerville for a 72-hour detainment.
On their return trip to the house to collect evidence, deputies reportedly found more than 3 pounds of processed marijuana. They obtained a search warrant and confiscated the drug.
The marijuana charges, which act as a separate case, have not been filed, Turner said.
— Contact William Ferchland at firstname.lastname@example.org
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