One man pleads, another to stand trial in hostage case
April 15, 2003
At least one Carson City man will be tried and another is expected to plead guilty in a March incident in which they allegedly held five people hostage in a motel room.
On Monday, Justice of the Peace John Tatro decided there was enough evidence to try Juan Jose Garcia-Velazquez, 32, on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, home invasion, aiming a firearm at another and false imprisonment.
He is accused in a March 13 incident at the Carson City Inn in which police discovered five people being held at gun- and knifepoint after a witness reported seeing Garcia-Velasquez with a gun.
Alejandro Garcia, 32, is also charged in the incident, for which authorities say there is no clear motive.
Omar Segura, 19, told Tatro on Monday he was called to the motel room about 4 a.m. that morning by a friend who said it was an emergency and to come right away.
Segura said when he and his girlfriend, Crystal Moreno, got near the room, Garcia-Velazquez, whom he knew as “Piaso,” came out with a gun pointed at his friend’s back and told Segura to stand in the corner with Moreno.
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“He kept telling me to move over to the corner where my girlfriend was, but I didn’t. I just ran,” Segura said. “I did it so he would follow me.”
Defense attorney Kay Ellen Armstrong asked Segura if he wasn’t “quite a bit taller and quite a bit bigger” than Garcia-Velazquez.
“I don’t think that really matters when you have a gun to your head,” he said.”He had demon in his eyes.”
Moreno said Garcia-Velazquez followed Segura, but came back moments later and ordered her and the friend into the room. Segura saw another woman tied to one bed and 19-year-old Chris Hall tied face down on another. Another woman in the room was not tied up.
Moreno said once she was in the room, Cordero, who had a long knife, frisked her and said, “I don’t want to have to hurt you. Give me what you got.”
“But I didn’t have anything,” she said.
She said Garcia-Velazquez told Cordero and Alejandro Garcia to “take care of them” while he went to look for Segura.
Deputies, alerted that a man had been seen with a gun at the motel, found the hostages.
Garcia-Velazquez was captured a short time later on Curry Street after he’d allegedly kicked in a door at the Frontier Motel, looking for a place to hide.
He remains in jail on a $200,000 bail.
Elias Juarez Cordero, 21, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting arrest and is expected to plead guilty to gross misdemeanor false imprisonment. The District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon and possession of methamphetamine.