SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of wounding a motorist last fall in a freeway shooting spree that stretched from National City to Del Mar must stand trial on attempted murder and other charges, a judge ruled Friday.
Enrique Ayon, 25, of Lancaster, faces more than 63 years to life in state prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Chris Moon.
After a two-day preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Kerry Wells ruled that enough evidence was presented for the defendant to proceed to trial on two counts of attempted murder, three counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle and one count each of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner, hit-and-run driving and vandalism.
Ayon is also charged with two counts of battery for allegedly assaulting two sheriff's jail deputies on separate occasions after his arrest.
Arraignment was set for June 28.
The prosecution alleges that Ayon crashed his Chevrolet Malibu through a security gate near the U.S.-Mexico border on the morning of Oct. 3 before launching a shooting spree on northbound Interstate 805 in National City.
Marcus Eagles testified that he was traveling north on Interstate 805 near Plaza Boulevard in National City about 10:15 a.m. last Oct. 3 when the defendant fired a shot at his car.
Eagles said Ayon was driving a white Chevrolet Malibu in the lane next to him.
"I saw a guy with a gun," the witness said. "I saw a gun pointed at me and I heard a pow."
Eagles said the shooter, whom he identified as Ayon, had a "real cold stare" and looked "kind of evil."
After the gunfire, Eagles said he merged to the right shoulder of the freeway and sat for a moment in shock before pulling off the freeway and calling 911.
Eagles said that when he got out of his car, he saw a bullet hole in the rear driver's side door. He said the bullet went through some luggage and lodged in the rear passenger door.
A short time later, Ayon allegedly fired another shot on the same freeway near Mesa College Drive in Serra Mesa, wounding 26-year-old Demitrous Miller in the upper leg.
Ayon also is accused of firing a round in the area near I-805 and state Route 163. A few minutes later, he allegedly fired two shots into an ambulance on Interstate 5 near Del Mar.
He was taken into custody the following day in Los Angeles County.
According to court testimony, a shell casing and gun residue were found in the defendant's car.
Gun residue was also found on Ayon's hands and a shirt found in the trunk of his vehicle, witnesses testified.
Authorities said none of the victims reported having had any type of contact or communication with the driver of the Malibu before coming under fire.
Ayon is believed to have acted alone, but the motive remains undetermined.
Wells, in ordering the defendant to stand trial, said it appeared from the evidence that the shots were fired from the same gun by the same person within minutes of each other.
Ayon's attorney, Zaki Zehawi, unsuccessfully argued that the attempted murder charges be dismissed because the shooter had no intent to kill.
A son called police after discovering the bodies of his parents Sunday inside their home in Vista, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
The San Diego Gulls team-record-tying eight-game winning streak ended Monday with a 5-2 loss to the Ontario Reign at Ontario.
Cold weather, light rain, mountain snow and gusty winds are all in the cards for San Diego County beginning Monday, forecasters said.
According to Scripps Ranch residents, for weeks they've been waking up to deep scrapes and scratches that someone keyed in their vehicles, and on Sunday an arrest was made in connection with the incidents.
Some public facilities will be closed Monday in observance of Presidents Day and the Metropolitan Transit System will offer reduced service.
One person was killed and several others seriously injured in a head-on crash Sunday in Scripps Ranch.
A 71-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of stabbing her 31-year-old son at least four times with a kitchen knife, when an argument at their San Diego home Sunday escalated into a fight.
Just the thought of free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer joining the downtrodden, youthful San Diego Padres sent a morning jolt through the spring training clubhouse.