Chief District Judge Robert Frederick on Monday scheduled a preliminary hearing for October for a Garden City man charged with attempted first-degree murder, and also denied a request to lower his $900,000 bond.
Jeovany Valles-Leyva, 37, 2515 W. Jones Ave., who was charged last month with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer and possession of narcotics, made a second court appearance on Monday. The Finney County Sheriff’s Office arrested him on July 15.
Frederick scheduled a preliminary hearing in the case for 1 p.m. Oct. 2.
Valles-Leyva's attorney, Luci Douglass, asked Frederick to consider modifying Valles-Leyva’s bond. She said he had lived in Garden City for five years, owned a home and ran an independent trucking business, which he used to support his wife and three children. His record includes a pending misdemeanor traffic case, but no criminal history.
When Douglass said the $900,000 bond was “exceptionally high,” Frederick responded, “Oh really? I hadn’t noticed."
Douglass ultimately asked the court to consider reducing the bond to $100,000 or $120,000 so Valles-Leyva could return to work, run his business and provide for his family.
“Given the history of this individual, his ties, his financial investment in this community, we think there are alternatives that would allow the court to assure itself of community safety. This isn’t somebody with a history of violent actions or a history of violating societal norms … He very strongly feels that there were extenuating circumstances that need to be taken into consideration and that the bond as set is excessive for the actual allegations and surrounding circumstances,” Douglass said.
Prosecutor Will Votypka argued that the bond was “more than reasonable in light of the circumstances” and that Valles-Leyva was a potential public safety and flight risk.
“If Mr. Leyva has a business and a truck and a house and collateral, he can put that up and make the bond,” Votypka said.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to a shooting at Valles-Leyva’s residence on West Jones Avenue at about 5:25 a.m. July 15, and found Daniel Martinez of Midland, Texas, shot in the stomach. Martinez was transported to St. Catherine Hospital for treatment. While officers were on scene, Valles-Leyva’s vehicle passed by, avoiding an attempted traffic stop by deputies and continuing on West Jones Avenue away from the residence.
Deputies say that as they pursued the vehicle, Valles-Leyva fired multiple rounds at a deputy from his back window. The deputy was not injured, and his vehicle was not damaged.
Valles-Leyva eventually abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot, but authorities ultimately found him in a sand pit and took him into custody.
Shortly after the incident, the sheriff’s office also investigated the involvement of Carolina Calvario, who arrived at St. Catherine Hospital July 15 with a gunshot wound to her leg. Officers initially believed she may have been shot during the West Jones Avenue incident. At the time, Finney County Sheriff Kevin Bascue said Calvario had been uncooperative with law enforcement and that he was unsure of her relevance to the case.
Calvario was in court Monday.
Votypka said Valles-Leyva was using methamphetamines the day of the shootings, and claimed that recent interviews in an investigation by the sheriff’s office have revealed details that pointed to Valles-Leyva “shooting a female earlier in the evening.” Three times, he referenced Valles-Leyva shooting two people, meaning Martinez and Calvario.
Frederick asked if Valles-Leyva was being charged with a separate shooting offense, and Votypka said once he received an affidavit on the alleged incident involving Calvario, he would “likely amend” the complaint. He said he would prefer to charge it as a separate case, but expected a motion to consolidate, since the alleged incidents happened within hours of each other.
On Monday, Bascue said the sheriff’s office was still following up on Calvario’s involvement.
Douglass said the allegations regarding Calvario seemed highly circumstantial, and she did not think they would be appropriate to take into consideration when deciding to maintain or lower Valles-Leyva’s bond.
After the hearing, Votypka argued that the information, though still under investigation, was relevant because it spoke to the danger Valles-Leyva posed to the community.
“That’s the reason we brought it up. Because we don’t want this guy out running around shooting anybody else,” he said.
Douglass referenced “extenuating circumstances” leading up to the incident.
Douglass said that according to an affidavit and what she found through her personal investigation, prior to the West Jones Avenue shooting, Martinez’s brother had been driving Valles-Leyva’s Razor four-wheeler with Valles-Leyva’s wife’s mother’s husband’s daughter. When the two did not return, Valles-Leyva went searching for them.
Douglass added that after Valles-Leyva left his residence, a group of people, whom Martinez was with, allegedly arrived and assaulted Valles-Leyva’s wife’s brother, which Valles-Leyva found out about through a phone call. Douglass said, as documented in recorded calls, that Valles-Leyva and his wife called law enforcement separately — Valles-Leyva regarding the Razor, and she out of fear that the group that battered her brother would attempt to break into her home.
Valles-Leyva and Martinez later returned to the West Jones residence and the shooting occurred, Douglass said.
Contact Amber Friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.