Judge holds North San Juan man on assault, weapon charges
A Nevada County judge has found enough evidence to continue criminal proceedings against a North San Juan man charged with assault with a deadly weapon, as well as weapons charges, in two separate Tuesday hearings in Nevada County Superior Court.
Michael David Walker, 54, has been in custody since January on a $50,000 bond after Nevada County sheriff’s deputies served a felony arrest warrant on his residence. That warrant was in connection with a December incident, in which he was alleged to have struck his victim in the head with a tire iron.
The night of Dec. 8, deputies had responded to a gas station near Highway 49 and Oak Tree Road for a dispute in which Walker was pepper sprayed and then allegedly struck the other man in the head. That man was taken to a regional trauma center by ambulance.
Nevada County Sheriff’s Detective Josephine Strachan testified Tuesday in Nevada County Superior Court that she tried to interview the victim the next day at the hospital, but he was unable to speak due to the serious brain trauma.
Strachan said Walker came into her office to be interviewed, and said he had gone to the gas station with his 13-year-old daughter when the other man bear-sprayed both of them. Walker told Strachan he ran to his car and grabbed the tire iron before throwing it at the other man.
According to Strachan, Walker told her he was aiming to hit the other man in the mouth and knock out his teeth. The two men had a prior history of conflict, Strachan said.
Judge Scott Thomsen found enough evidence to hold Walker to answer on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, noting there was no immediate threat to Walker at the time he threw the tire iron.
Walker’s weapons charge stems from the warrant search at his residence on Jan. 10. Sheriff’s Deputy Rory Sonnier testified that during the search, deputies located a shotgun in the trunk of a vehicle registered to Walker. They also found ammunition, a stun gun and pepper spray, he said.
Thomsen found enough evidence to hold Walker on the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon in that case. Walker is set to be formally arraigned in both cases on Feb. 22.
Walker is facing a third hearing on Feb. 23 for a February 2020 case in which he was arrested in connection with an attempted residential burglary near North Columbia. When he was pulled over, deputies found a loaded rifle, as well as an ammunition can full of ammunition and magazines, authorities said at the time.
He was charged in that case with possession of an assault rifle, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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