SAN JOSE (PRWeb) — If the media coverage is any indication, a recent shooting in the Los Gatos foothills has certainly captured the public’s attention.
On Sept. 12, The San Jose Mercury News published “SJSU homicide: Los Gatos man charged with manslaughter after shooting fleeing car theft suspect, prosecutors say” by Robert Salonga and Mark Gomez. The San Francisco Chronicle, NBC News, the San Jose State University newspaper and many other media outlets have also been covering the story.
Many of them include quotes from the defendant’s lawyer, Riccardo Ippolito of the San Jose criminal defense law firm Valencia, Ippolito & Bowman. According to court documents, Craig Yuhara, 62, was originally arrested on suspicion of homicide, but Ippolito announced that the charges have been reduced to involuntary manslaughter.
Yuhara “wants to put this unfortunate event behind him.” Ippolito said. “As the facts of this case continue to come to light, the public will see the truth and Mr. Yuhara will be able to get his life back to normal.”
Yuhara’s arraignment took place on Sept. 12 at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in downtown San Jose. According to court documents in the possession of Valencia, Ippolito & Bowman and multiple media reports, including “Charge in SJSU killing — involuntary manslaughter,” written on Sept. 12 by Henry K. Lee for The San Francisco Chronicle, many of the facts of the case have already been established.
According to court documents and the official SJSU Police report, on the night of Sept. 7, two men allegedly parked and abandoned a moving truck across the road from the Yuhara home in an unincorporated and fairly rustic area of the Los Gatos foothills along Old Santa Cruz Highway. The Yuharas eventually called the police and, later that night, Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies alleged that the truck was stolen. They contacted the vehicle’s owner and the next morning, it was still in front of the Yuhara home.
The details of what happened next are further described in the university police’s official incident report, which is also referenced on the university police’s crime blotter for Sept. 8-14 and corroborated by “UPD solves case of found body, driver says there’s another story” by Leeta-Rose Ballester in the Sept. 18 edition of San Jose State’s newspaper, The Daily Spartan.
Though details are still emerging, there is a wealth of information about the case because of its high-profile nature: Ippolito’s comments, the official police report, court documents, and multiple media reports, the NBC Bay Area report “Los Gatos Man Charged with Manslaughter, Accused of Shooting Man Found Dead on SJSU Campus” by Damian Trujillo, broadcast on Sept. 12.
According to the court documents and police report, two men allegedly arrived on the morning of Sept. 8 in a jeep and one exited that vehicle to put gas into the abandoned moving truck. As Yuhara approached the men, according to Yuhara’s official statement to the police, the man pouring the gas got back into the jeep, which then allegedly accelerated toward Yuhara.
As the two men fled in the jeep, Yuhara fired at the jeep in what he claims was a warning shot. The warning shot, court documents indicate, allegedly struck the passenger in the jeep.
A short time later, a jeep that fit the description of the one that sped away from the Yuhara home was allegedly found on the SJSU campus. Daniel Winslow, 47, was found dead in the passenger seat, according to court documents and the SJSU police report. The cause of death was allegedly a single gunshot wound.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Brian Welch said there was no evidence that Yuhara intended to kill Winslow.
“We are extremely pleased that his charges have been reduced and the threat of the most severe penalties have been removed from the case. It is a tragedy that someone died that night, but Mr. Yuhara will have his day in court and we are confident that justice is on his side,” Ippolito said.
A friend of Winslow’s who only identified himself as Jeff told The Mercury News that Winslow had a son and was emerging from a troubled past. “Everyone who knew him loved him,” Jeff said.
Yuhara’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 17 and he remains free after posting bail of $75,000. Ippolito plans to update the public as the case proceeds. There is little doubt that local media will be doing the same.