SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A wanted man who allegedly drove off in a car when a deputy U.S. marshal tried to take the keys from its ignition during a traffic stop -- dragging the officer about 100 yards -- must stand trial on charges of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury and other counts, a judge ruled Thursday.
Matthew Motsenbocker -- who has a burglary "strike" conviction from 2004 -- faces up to 24 years in prison if convicted of the current charges, according to Deputy District Attorney Robert Eacret.
Superior Court Judge Lisa Schall found that enough evidence was presented during a two-day preliminary hearing for the 31-year-old Motsenbocker to stand trial.
The deputy U.S. marshal who was dragged, Don Allie, testified that he shot Motsenbocker after the defendant took off in the car he had stopped on Balboa Avenue near Interstate 805 last July 6.
Allie said Motsenbocker jumped in the driver's seat and accelerated after a woman who was initially driving got out of the car.
Allie said he was attempting to take the keys out of the ignition when Motsenbocker dragged him along Balboa Avenue about 2:45 p.m. Authorities estimated Allie was dragged about 100 yards before being thrown clear. Allie said he lost consciousness after hitting his head and knew he had a concussion.
"My first thought was Motsenbocker had just tried to kill me," Allie testified.
Besides assault, Motsenbocker is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, auto theft, and an allegation that he committed the crimes while he was out on bail on other charges.
The day of the traffic stop, authorities were looking for Motsenbocker after he failed to appear in court on charges of burglary, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, passing forged items, using an access card to defraud and receiving stolen property, Eacret said.
Motsenbocker is due back in Superior Court Jan. 31 for arraignment.