Shooting suspect indigent
February 26, 2010
A judge has determined that a man accused in a January shooting in Park City is indigent and has appointed a public defender in the case, giving the man an attorney as an important court appearance looms as early as the end of March.
Third District Court Judge Bruce Lubeck on Monday appointed public defender Paul Quinlan to represent German Chavez-Romero. The judge set another court date on March 8, according to a court clerk. Quinlan replaces a privately retained attorney who is no longer representing Chavez-Romero.
Quinlan acknowledged in an interview he could have a conflict of interest that would require him to leave the case. He had not reviewed the details of the charges against Chavez-Romero by the middle of the week.
A preliminary hearing could be scheduled at the end of March or the early in April, Summit County Attorney David Brickey predicted in an interview. Brickey is the lead prosecutor in the case. The judge would decide at the end of the preliminary hearing whether Chavez-Romero stands trial.
The defendant, who is 19 years old and from Ephraim, is incarcerated at the Summit County Jail. Bail is set at $250,000. Immigration officials have ordered him held, meaning that he could not be released if he was able to post bail.
Chavez-Romero faces four charges, the most serious being attempted murder, stemming from a Jan. 2 confrontation on Monitor Drive. He faces a prison sentence of up to life if convicted of the attempted-murder charge, a first-degree felony. Prosecutors have also charged him with three lesser felonies.
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Prosecutors claim Chavez-Romero shot a 48-year-old man in the hand and the bullet then struck the victim in the face. The man survived. According to court documents filed in the case, Chavez-Romero approached a man in a parking lot trying to sell a lap top computer for $40.
The man did not want to buy the computer, prompting Chavez-Romero to brandish a gun and shoot the man, prosecutors said in the court filing. The police arrested Chavez-Romero within approximately 40 minutes during a traffic stop in Park Meadows.
It was the first shooting inside Park City since the 2003 death of a man in a Kearns Boulevard apartment.