A change of plea hearing Wednesday for the man who allegedly shot at three Yuma police officers while they were documenting graffiti on a wall was postponed until after a settlement conference in the case can be held.
Attorney Michael Donovan, who represents Kane Perez, requested the meeting after Yuma County Superior Court Judge David Haws asked if he and his client were ready to proceed with the hearing. He did not provide any other information.
Upon hearing no objection from the prosecution, Haws ordered the case be transferred and a judge be appointed to conduct the settlement conference.
A settlement conference is a meeting between the prosecution, the judge and defense attorneys in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to the case without having to go to trial.
Haws also scheduled a status hearing on the settlement conference for 8:30 a.m. on April 17. Perez has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor and five counts of assisting a criminal street gang in the incident. He remains at Yuma County jail on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
After he admitted to starting the 2014 Castle Park arson fire, Perez was also later charged with arson of a structure or property and criminal damage.
According to Yuma police, the shooting happened at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, in the area of 22nd Street and Madison Avenue, as three officers from the Yuma Police Department’s Special Operations Group were at the location documenting graffiti on a wall and collecting evidence.
While there, two male suspects yelled what is believed to be a gang slogan at the officers from across the street, then suddenly started shooting at them. When officers returned fire, the suspects fled on foot. Both suspects were located and taken into custody.
One of the suspects, later identified as Perez, received a single wound that wasn’t life-threatening. The second suspect was identified as 22-year-old Luis German Juarez.
Also, on Aug. 9, Yuma police named Perez a suspect in connection with the Dec. 28, 2014, fire that destroyed the Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground.