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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Innocent plea entered in shootings case

Trial set for July

Express Staff Writer

Bellevue shooting suspect David L. Santistevan entered a plea of not guilty to two counts of attempted murder at an arraignment hearing Monday in 5th District Court in Hailey. His trial was set for July 19. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 21.

David L. Santistevan  Express photo by Willy Cook

Santistevan, 46, of Bellevue, is accused of shooting two Bellevue teenagers on the evening of March 29 in Bellevue. Each charge will be treated as a separate and distinct count of attempted murder, a second-degree felony. Judge Barry Wood said that if Santistevan is found guilty on both counts, a jail sentence could be enhanced due to the use of a firearm.

John Marshall Hooten, 19, is still in critical condition at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. However, he made some improvement this week, said Judith Peak, the mother of the second victim, Tyrel Peak. Peak, 15, has been out of the hospital for several weeks.

"Marshal had a good weekend," she said. "He was awake and watching TV and trying to communicate with his family."

Peak is back in school. His bladder, which was damaged in the shooting, is healing well, his mother said, but he still has pain and numbness in his hip where he was hit with a bullet.

Peak identified Santistevan as the alleged shooter at a preliminary hearing April 13. Police affidavits state two shell casings found at the scene match a third casing found on Santistevan’s car. Last week authorities said they recovered a semi-automatic handgun allegedly belonging to Santistevan near the railroad right of way east of Gannet Road in Bellevue. A ballistics review of the gun, casings and bullets is pending in Coeur d’Alene.

Santistevan, who is being held in Blaine County Jail on a $1 million bond, has retained Hailey attorney Doug Nelson for his defense.

Bellevue resident Dale Ewersen has set up a fund to help pay the medical expenses of the Peak and Hooten families. Donations are being accepted at First Bank of Idaho branches in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue.


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