News


Charges dropped in East Palo Alto drive-by shooting

Key witness recants her statement

Charges against a 24-year-old East Palo Alto resident accused of participating in a drive-by shooting have been dropped after a key witness recanted her statement, the San Mateo County District Attorney Office said Thursday.

Daniel Larios was allegedly one of two occupants in a car on Oct. 5, 2013, that drove by a 17-year-old standing outside his East Palo Alto home talking to a family friend. The car drove by twice and on the second time, two people started shooting at him, according to the district attorney's office. The 17-year-old was hit eight times in the stomach and legs.

The district attorney's office alleged that Larios and the 17-year-old are members of opposing factions of the Norteno gang.

"We had from early on an eyewitness to this case, which is what we were relying on," District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. "A person who was nearby who clearly saw and identified initially to the East Palo Alto Police Department – including picking Mr. Larios out of a photo lineup -- as the person who had done it."

Wagstaffe said that a prosecutor interviewing the witness in preparation for a preliminary hearing to take place this week determined she had recanted the identification.

"She said she was sort of guessing and she would not be able to say that he is the person," Wagstaffe said. "That was not the only thing we had in the case ... but the key, essential element was her testimony and with that no longer standing, we didn't have a case that would support prosecuting Mr. Larios."

Wagstaffe said the witness "very strongly emphasized" that she had not been threatened or intimidated to change her statement.

Larios, who was initially arraigned on Oct. 9, 2013, had been held in custody with no bail. He was released late Wednesday, Wagstaffe said. This week's was the seventh setting of the preliminary hearing date since that time, the district attorney's office said.

"I'm glad we caught it now if he is an innocent man -- that's our biggest fear," Wagstaffe said.

Elena Kadvany

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2014 at 10:43 am

Of course she recanted! Who was going to protect her? If they can gun someone else down, you don't think they threatened her and her family? This is why most gang crimes go unsolved/prosecuted.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 17, 2014 at 11:14 am

Bru is a registered user.

Oh, so now the whole system looks stupid because we have a thug who was shooting at people who is now free to strut around and make jokes about the police. He is young and stupid enough to think now that he is untouchable and can do whatever he wants with his new "street creed". The unfortunate people of East Palo Alto have to endure a thug culture and be intimidated even more now.

This is not moving in the right direction EPA ... I can't believe you cannot do better than this.

How about at least posting this guy's picture so we can avoid him and scowl at him if we ever encounter him?

Sickening.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don Law
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Don Law is a registered user.

Put down your pitch forks and your blood lust. Innocent until proven guilty.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WHAT??
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

WHAT?? is a registered user.

Don; having lived in EPA for over 34 years let me tell you that there are many ways to intimidate witnesses. Just check what happened to a person who was suspected of cooperating with police..he is now dead..read the recent news stories on EPA..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Bru is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] As long as we have anyone being murdered for cooperating with the police, all justice needs to be looked at critically, not just dismissed by a cheap slogan - "Innocent until proven guilty." Witnesses are a must have for any justice system to retain credibility, if people are afraid to tell the truth, then we have no justice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by George Orwell
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm

George Orwell is a registered user.

Well Done! Restrict the thread, silence the discussion!

Dear Queen or King of this virtual world,
This is my forth attempt to post my sincere compliment. I hope that my comment will not disappear again, as it is important to give credit where credit is due.

Dear 'Bru',
You wrote 'if people are afraid to tell the truth, then we have no justice.'
Yes, this Gordian Knot tying Truth, Justice, Fear and the "New World"s First Amendment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by George Orwell
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm

George Orwell is a registered user.

Well Done! Restrict the thread, silence the discussion!

Dear Queen or King of this virtual world,
This is my forth attempt to post my sincere compliment. I hope that my comment will not disappear again, as it is important to give credit where credit is due.

Dear 'Bru',
You wrote 'if people are afraid to tell the truth, then we have no justice.'
Yes, this Gordian Knot tying Truth, Justice, Fear and the "New World"s First Amendment.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


To post your comment, please click here to Log in

Remember me?
Forgot Password?
or register. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

WUE makes out-of-state tuition more affordable
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 2 comments | 2,670 views

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,612 views

Ode to Brussels Sprout
By Laura Stec | 14 comments | 2,260 views

Go Giants! Next Stop: World Series!
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,729 views

In Defense of "Incivility"
By Douglas Moran | 17 comments | 1,654 views