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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004


Parents of shooting victim sue suspect

Suit alleges fraudulent property transfer

Express Staff Writer

The parents of one of the two victims in a March 29 Bellevue shooting are suing for damages and contending that the suspect fraudulently transferred property to his mother following the incident.

The civil suit was filed in 5th District Court in Hailey on April 29 by Gary B. Peak and Judith A. Peak, the parents of Tyrel H. Peak, 15, who was shot in the buttocks behind the Silver Dollar Saloon. The other victim, John Marshall Hooten, 19, was shot in the chest and was in critical condition for several weeks. Last week, however, he was conscious and improving in health, said Judith Peak.

The alleged shooter, David L. Santistevan, 46, was a Bellevue resident and familiar local musician. Charged with two counts of attempted murder, he is in custody in the Blaine County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

The Peak’s lawsuit, filed by Hailey Attorney Doug Werth, names Santistevan and his mother, Mary Lue Ross, who lives in Canyon County.

The suit contends that Tyrel Peak was "permanently and severely damaged" and has "disability, disfigurement and pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life" because of injuries he incurred in the shooting.

The amount of money sought by the lawsuit is to be proven at trial.

The suit also seeks to stall the transfer of property worth "more than $250,000" from Santistevan to his mother.

The suit claims that Santistevan signed a quitclaim deed on April 2, 2004, "purporting to convey in its entirety the real property to Ross." The transfer was recorded by Blaine County on April 6.

In the lawsuit, Werth contends the transfer was made "to hinder, delay or defraud plaintiffs as creditors (the Peaks) of the debtor (Santistevan)."

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. Authorities also said they recovered a semi-automatic handgun allegedly belonging to Santistevan near the railroad right-of-way east of Gannett Road in Bellevue. A ballistics review of the gun, casings and bullets is pending in Coeur d’Alene.

Editor's note: Mary Lue Ross was dropped as a defendant in 2005. The suit was dismissed due to inactivity in 2008.


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