A Los Angeles man will be tried for second-degree murder in a 2004 shooting that claimed the life of a Carson City man, a judge determined Wednesday.
Seven prosecution witnesses convinced Justice of the Peace John Tatro there was enough evidence to try Maximilliano Cisneros, 23, for the shooting death of 23-year-old Juan Carlos Alegria and wounding of Fidel Fuentes.
Alegria died March 25, 2004, from three gunshot wounds to the torso sustained in an alleged domestic dispute involving Fuentes, Fuentes' estranged girlfriend, Katie Armstrong, 24, and Cisneros.
Alegria had accompanied Fuentes, 23, about midnight to Armstrong's West Eighth Street apartment when Fuentes spotted Cisneros inside. According to court documents, after Fuentes kicked in the door Cisneros allegedly emerged and opened fire, fatally striking Alegria and hitting Fuentes in the leg.
Armstrong testified Wednesday her connection to Cisneros was "drug related." She said on the afternoon of March 24, she'd bought drugs from him and about 11:30 p.m. Cisneros stopped by her apartment uninvited, but she let him in.
"We were just hanging out and maybe 20 minutes later, Fidel Fuentes show up, banging on my door," she said.
Armstrong said she "calmly," asked Cisneros to leave the apartment through a back window.
"I told him it would be better for me if he did and he said, 'OK,' like it was nothing," she testified.
Just as Cisneros disappeared into the back bedroom, Armstrong said, Fuentes kicked in her apartment door. She ran out to her neighbors, and within seconds, Fuentes was running out behind her with Cisneros on his heels, she said.
Neighbor Latosha Ingle said she saw Alegria standing on the sidewalk with his hands in his pockets watching the scene.
"He never said anything. He didn't move. He never did anything, he just stood there," Ingle said.
As Cisneros emerged from the apartment and passed her, she saw him gripping a black-handled gun, she said.
"I screamed. I immediately knew it was a gun," she said. "I turned to go back into the apartment, and I didn't even make it into my house."
Alegria was felled by the gunshots where he stood, his feet tangled in the bushes near him, Ingle said.
Fidel Fuentes never got a chance to testify in Wednesday's hearing. He was sentenced in October to serve a suspended sentence of 12 to 30 months in prison on an unrelated burglary charge. Somehow a 50-year-old Fidel Fuentes was transported to the courthouse for the hearing, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer.
The murder charge brings a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life. A deadly weapon enhancement could double the penalty.
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