By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Trials have been set for two of the four suspects involved in an alleged carjacking in March.
In arraignments Thursday, District Judge Clint Peterson read the list of charges facing Juan D. Garza, 26, Jose Gil, both of Garden City, and Bobby Stensland, 19, of Dodge City, who were arrested between Jan. 29 and March 1 by authorities in Ford and Finney counties, according to a statement from Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg.
The three, along with Matthew Perez, 27, of Dodge City, were allegedly involved in an incident that occurred around 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10, when officers responded to the 200 block of South Virginia in Liberal for a reported carjacking, where the handicapped victim was forced out of the vehicle without his wheelchair and had to crawl for help.
The victim’s Blazer was later recovered on Jan. 11 in Finney County.
Perez appeared Thursday in Seward County District Court, but his arraignment has been rescheduled for Sept. 21 after Peterson received a letter stating Perez wanted his attorney, Liberal’s Grover Bryan, removed from the case. Attorney Paul Kitzke of Liberal was assigned as the new attorney for Perez’s case.
The three remaining suspects each pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft, criminal restraint, battery, vehicle burglary, attempted felony theft, conspiracy to commit theft and criminal damage to property.
Peterson summarized the sentences the suspects could face for each charge, which are as follows (all sentences are dependent on the defendant’s criminal history):
o Aggravated kidnapping – 147 to 653 months in prison;
o Aggravated robbery – 55 to 247 months in prison;
o Conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery – 31 to 136 months in prison;
o Aggravated assault – 11 to 34 months in prison;
o Theft – 5 to 17 months in prison;
o Criminal restraint – maximum of 1 year in jail;
o Battery – maximum of 6 months in jail;
o Vehicle burglary – 5 to 17 months in prison;
o Attempted felony theft – 5 to 13 months in prison;
o Conspiracy to commit theft – 5 to 13 months in prison; and
o Criminal damage to property – 5 to 17 months in prison.
The trials for Garza and Gil have been set, with Garza’s case to be heard between Dec. 20 and 23 and Gil’s case taking place Nov. 18, 19, 22 and 23.
Peterson said he could not fit Stensland’s case within the 90 days required for a speedy trial, and he was scheduled to have his trial set at 9:30 this morning in Seward County District Court.
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