Attempted Murder Trial Bumped To Late 2008

By Guy Leonard, County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (June 12, 2008)—The trial of a man accused of shooting an arrow into the back of a woman as she was walking along Great Mills Road in January is not likely to occur until sometime after October of this year.

Cynthia Panos, one of the defense attorneys representing Luis Roberto Fuentes-Diaz, who is charged with attempted murder stemming from the attack on Natasha Maureen Kelly, said the main defense attorney, Robert Bonsib, would be busy this fall with a major federal case in Greenbelt and would not be available to do both trials.

That trial deals with corruption charges against the former Prince George’s County schools superintendent, Andre Hornsby.

That trial is expected to last six weeks, Panos said.

States Attorney Richard Fritz did not object to holding off on hearing motions to the case as his office was waiting for the outcome of part of the investigation.

“The state of Maryland has DNA evidence pending,” Fritz said.

Circuit Court Judge C. Clarke Raley ruled that motions in the case would be heard in September.

Fuentes-Diaz is currently out on bond for the alleged offense.

According to charging documents, detectives with the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations believe Fuentes-Diaz is responsible for firing the arrow that struck Kelly in the back at about 5 a.m. Jan. 19.

Investigators said at the time of the incident that a heavy jacket Kelly was wearing likely stopped the arrow from penetrating further into her back.

Emergency medical personnel as well as police responding to the scene that morning found Kelly lying on the road with the arrow protruding from her back. Charging documents state that the arrow was fired from somewhere on Great Mills Lane.

Investigators went to Fuentes-Diaz’s residence to conduct a search for evidence, charging documents state, and were allowed into his residence by Fuentes-Diaz’s consent.

Investigators had come by information that Fuentes-Diaz was in possession of a compound bow and found just such a weapon in his home, charging documents state.

The arrows were of the same color and brand as the one found in the victim and bow was outside its case and easily accessible, charging documents read.

Detectives learned that Fuentes-Diaz knew the victim and had called 911 several times in the past to report that Kelly had been fighting and arguing in the street.

Kelly’s twin sister also apparently owed Fuentes-Diaz money in the amount of $100, charging documents stated.

Investigators conducted more search warrants and gathered more unspecified evidence in the case, according to charging documents, and they also took statements from Fuentes-Diaz that contradicted those of the victim and two witnesses to the attack.

Investigators further found that the victim was within the range of a compound bow and that the wound on the victim was consistent with arrow being fired from Fuentes-Diaz’s yard, charging documents state.

While the charges against Fuentes-Diaz at the time of his arrest in January went up only to firstdegree assault, prosecutors decided to increase the charges to attempted murder for the indictment stage.

Fuentes-Diaz, 43, has been in front of the court before on weapons charges, court documents reveal.

In December Fuentes-Diaz pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed deadly weapon in county District Court and received a ruling of unsupervised probation before judgment in lieu of six months incarceration.

Another charge against him of having a handgun in his vehicle was not prosecuted by the state.

Both of those prior incidents occurred Sept. 14 of last year.

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