Woman dies from injuries; road rage suspect charged with attempted murder

Leonardo Cardoza

Leonardo Cardoza

A 19-year-old Carson City woman died Wednesday from injuries sustained during Saturday's alleged road-rage attack. Earlier Wednesday, Leonardo Cardoza, 28, was charged with attempted murder for allegedly using his minivan to ram Desiree Bragg against her mother's house, in what authorities term a road-rage case that began with the man tailgating the woman's vehicle for about two miles.Assistant District Attorney Mark Kreuger said in court — earlier Wednesday afternoon — that Bragg was still on life support, and that when she died the district attorney's office would be amending the criminal complaint to an open murder charge.Sheriff Ken Furlong confirmed late Wednesday that Bragg had died shortly after 3 p.m.Cardoza, a Carson City man, appeared in Justice Court where the presiding judge, Steve McMorris, read a criminal complaint originally filed by the district attorney's office charging him with attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon — the minivan that pinned Bragg against the home where she and her fianc had driven to on Saturday night, with Cardoza following them.Cardoza was in the jail for the hearing and his image was projected into the courtroom by means of a TV. A preliminary hearing has been tentatively set for 4 p.m., Feb. 13, although that is likely to change.Cardoza, a local supermarket employee who according to the sheriff's office had been drinking at a local sports bar before he began following Bragg's vehicle, remains in jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. Cardoza, described in the sheriff's report as extremely intoxicated when arrested, told officers he wasn't deliberately following Bragg's car.The sheriff's report states she suffered broken ribs, a crushed pelvis, severe internal injuries and had two strokes as a result of her injuries.“We have to make sure there's no stone left unturned,” Furlong said. Cardoza allegedly began tailgating the victim and her fianc, Steven Castro, on Highway 50 near Lompa Lane. The victim drove onto the freeway and exited on College Parkway, heading west, with the silver minivan still behind her, according to the sheriff's report. Bragg was driving and Castro was in the passenger seat.Bragg then pulled into the driveway of her mother's house on Cinnabar Avenue, honking her horn to alert her family, with the minivan close behind. When she got out of her car, the minivan allegedly drove forward, pinning her against the house. Castro told deputies he went to the driver's side of the minivan and hit Cardoza several times with a wooden table leg. Cardoza then backed out and drove south on Cinnabar, where he crashed into a back yard two blocks away, according to the report. He then walked back to the house, where he and Castro began fighting again.Anyone with information about the case, or Cardoza's whereabouts on Saturday is encouraged to call the CarsonCity Sheriff's Office 887-2500. YOU CAN HELPAn account has been set up to help Bragg's family with her medical expenses, funeral costs and raising her five-month-old son. Donations can be made at any Greater Nevada Credit Union Account: 926595 Routing number: 321280143


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