A man who allegedly fled to Mexico after being accused of attempted murder in 2007 appeared Thursday in Clark County Superior County to face the more than decade-old case.
Juan Luis Alvarado-Velazquez, 32, was apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this year, Deputy Prosecutor Kristine Foerster said. He faces an allegation of attempted first-degree murder in connection with a Vancouver stabbing in July 2007, court records show.
Three teenagers and Alvarado-Velazquez were identified as suspects. Three of them were charged in November of that year, while an arrest warrant for Alvarado-Velazquez went unserved as law enforcement were unable to locate him.
On Thursday, Judge Bernard Veljacic granted the state’s request to hold Alvarado-Velazquez without bail, noting that the allegations show he is a threat to the community, and his years on the run establish he’s a flight risk. A bail hearing will likely happen next week.
Alvarado-Velazquez said little during the hearing, listening to the attorneys’ remarks through a Spanish interpreter.
According to probable cause affidavits, Luis Rangel, then 17, stabbed a rival gang member in the heart in the parking lot of Albertsons on Fourth Plain Boulevard in the Bagley Downs neighborhood. After his arrest, Rangel told detectives that fellow Sureno gang members Ovidio Perez, then 18, and Pedro Marquez, then 16, had been with him.
The store’s surveillance footage of the parking lot showed four people emerge from a black Chevrolet Camaro. One person was seen striking the victim in the chest, and then the four suspects returned to the Camaro and drove away, the affidavits say.
According to Alvarado-Velazquez’s arrest warrant, Rangel told police that Alvarado-Velazquez drove the group to the store. Detectives contacted Alvarado-Velazquez 15 hours after the stabbing and noted that his clothing matched the driver’s clothing. The officers also seized a metal bat wrapped in blue tape, which the driver had been wielding during the stabbing. The warrant does not say whether Alvarado-Velazquez was taken into custody during that contact.
The victim, Francisco Lopez, was a Norteno gang member, court records say. The Norteno and Sureno gangs are rivals.
Rangel pleaded guilty in June 2008 and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Perez opted for a trial, was found guilty as an accomplice to attempted first-degree murder in May 2008 and was sentenced to 17 years in prison, according to Columbian archives.
Marquez’s case was handled in Clark County Juvenile Court.