Tag Archive for: arraignment

Gang Member Charged in Shooting that Left Young Woman Paralyzed

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that an attempted murder charge has been filed against Juan Diaz Velazco, 19, in connection with a gang shooting that left an innocent 17-year-old female bystander paralyzed. Diaz Velazco is also charged with assault with a firearm and other gun charges. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces 72 years to life in prison. He is being held without bail.

The charges stem from an incident on October 28 in which gang members issued gang challenges to rivals outside of a high school party. Diaz Velazco fired the first shots which hit and paralyzed an innocent girl, who was a high school cheerleader. Diaz Velazco was ultimately apprehended after a multiweek extensive investigation conducted by the San Diego Police Department and District Attorney’s Office Gang Units.

“This case demonstrates the destructive consequences of gang violence on neighborhoods and people who want to live in peace,” DA Stephan said. “We will keep fighting to make our neighborhoods safe and hold criminals accountable.”

Diaz Velazco will be in court again on December 12 for a readiness hearing and on December 15 for a preliminary hearing.

This case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kyle Sutterley.


25-year-old Man Charged in Downtown Crime Spree

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that Christopher Torres, 25, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, one count of making a criminal threat, and one count of battery in connection with an early morning rash of attacks in downtown San Diego on Monday.

“This terrible violent attack on innocent people is another example of unacceptable criminal conduct that is making people who live and work in downtown San Diego experience fear for their safety,” DA Stephan said. “Unfortunately, many of these cases intersect with persons experiencing homelessness as perpetrators or victims of these violent attacks. We will not tolerate this conduct and we will enforce the rule of law against anyone who harms our community.”

Torres was arraigned in San Diego Superior Court and pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces 21 years to life in prison plus an additional 26 years. A preliminary hearing in this case has been set for February 7.

“I’m proud of the swift and complete investigation by San Diego Police Department and the work by the DA team, that will ensure justice is obtained in this case,” DA Stephan said. “Public safety is the guiding light of the District Attorney’s Office, and our priority is making sure San Diego continues to be one of the safest urban counties in America.”

Deputy District Attorney Shane Waller is handling this case.