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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday — April 2, 2004


Hearing set for attempted murder suspect

Prosecutions says shooting
of youths premeditated

Express Staff Writer

Bellevue shooting suspect David Leroy Santistevan is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday, April 13, in 5th District Court in Hailey on two counts of attempted murder.

Santistevan, 46, of Bellevue, was arrested and arraigned Tuesday in connection with the shooting of two Bellevue youths at approximately 8:45 p.m. Monday, March 29, in a Bellevue alley, said Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas.

John Marshall Hooten, 19, is listed in critical condition at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, said a hospital spokesperson. Ty Peak, 15, is reported in stable condition but has not yet been released from the hospital.

The criminal complaint submitted for the record by Thomas alleges that the shooting of the two youths was premeditated.

Santistevan’s parents have retained criminal trial attorney Doug Nelson, of Hailey, to defend their son, Thomas said. Nelson has filed a request for discovery of the facts in the case. No statements from Santistevan have been made public.

A probable cause affidavit in support of the arrest by Blaine County Detective Steve Harkins relies on the affidavit of Blaine County Sergeant Brad Gelskey and statements from Blaine County Sergeant Will Fruehling and other officers from Bellevue and Blaine County.

Fruehling said in his statement that he found Hooten lying on the ground in pain calling for help behind the Silver Dollar Bar, between Elm and Oak Streets.

Both Frueling and Gelskey stated that Hooten had a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Emergency medical technicians transported Hooten to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. Both victims were later transported to Boise by helicopter.

Frueling stated that upon arriving at the scene Hooten told him he did not know the person who shot him, but that the assailant was in a silver Subaru. Frueling also stated that a Winchester 9-millimeter Lugar shell casing was found at the crime scene near where Hooten was lying.

Also found at the crime scene was a green spiral notebook identified as belonging to Santistevan, according to the affidavit. Inside the notebook were writings referencing guitar playing, guitar lessons, and a local guitar shop. Santistevan is a well-known Wood River Valley musician and guitar instructor.

Deputy Bellevue Marshall Robin J. Johnson was the first to respond to the shooting of Peak, who was found wounded at his home on Second Street.

Police interviews with the 15-year-old at St. Luke’s reported in the complaint tell Peak’s story about riding with Hooten on a four-wheeler before the shooting.

Peak told police he and Hooten "waived the driver through" an intersection 15 to 20 minutes before they drove down the alley behind the bar. He said the driver of the car drove towards the teenagers, stopped and yelled at Hooten and Peak, stating that he was going to call the police.

Peak is reported as stating in the complaint that they drove away and came upon the car again just before the shooting. Peak said the driver appeared to be writing as he stood by the driver’s side of the car. He said the teenagers stopped to apologize for the earlier incident. He said Hooten got off the four-wheeler and approached the driver.

The complaint states that Peak told police that the man said "I’m going to shoot you" and that Hooten said something to the effect of "go ahead, if that’s what you are going to do."

Peak said the man then "pulled a gun" from his person and fired one shot towards Hooten, missing him. He told police the man had the gun on him as if it was "in a holster or something." Peak told police the man fired a second shot, striking Hooten in the abdomen.

Peak told police he was shot in the left buttock as he drove away. Police reported that Peak collapsed on his front porch on Second Street.

In the complaint, Frueling described previous contact made with Santistevan in December 2003 when he was responding to a complaint Santistevan made about an assault that occurred at the Silver Dollar Saloon. The complaint reports that Santistevan told Frueling he was "beat up" at the bar and that he wanted to file a report.

In the complaint, Frueling questioned Santistevan’s apparent lack of injury, interviewed the bartender, who told him that Santistevan had been thrown out of the bar for his behavior. Frueling reported that " ... Santistevan said that they harassed him and the bar staff ‘86’d’ him from the bar forever. He seemed angry at the staff at the Silver Dollar. He kept talking about how ‘they’ are racist because he is Mexican."

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing and no motive has been determined police said.

Thomas and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Justin Whatcott will work together on the prosecution.

Thomas has filed a sentencing enhancement for use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. A review of Santistevan’s driver’s license showed no record of a concealed weapons permit for a weapon police allege he carried on his person.

Bond was set at $1 million, at $500,000 for each count. Santistevan is still being held in the Blaine County Jail.


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