Cardenas facing new charges in assault case

2013-07-13T08:30:00Z Cardenas facing new charges in assault caseBy KYLE ODEGARD, Albany Democrat-Herald Corvallis Gazette Times

ALBANY — A California gunman who shot two police officers near North Albany last August faces a new criminal charge in Linn County.

Demecio Junior Cardenas, 33, was indicted on a charge of second-degree assault and was arraigned Friday in Linn County Circuit Court.

“This is a case involving an attack with a pair of brass knuckles,” said Deputy District Attorney Alex Olenick.

The charge stems from an incident on July 16 of last year.

According to police logs, at 8:15 p.m. that day, a man called 911 to speak to a deputy about an assault.

The caller said that about 8 a.m., in the 700 block of Old Salem Road in Millersburg, he was hit by a suspect with brass knuckles. The suspect had been threatening the caller and telling him he was going to kill him, the victim added.

The new charge comes two days after a negotiated settlement fell apart in Benton County Circuit Court regarding the North Albany-area gunfight. Benton County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Peterson and Salem Police Cpl. Andrew Connolly were wounded in the shootout, and Cardenas was hit by police fire.

In June, Cardenas pleaded no contest to two counts of attempted aggravated murder. He also pleaded no contest to unlawful use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, and attempting to elude.

But on Wednesday, defense attorney Nicolas Ortiz said he’d misunderstood part of the state’s plea deal, which could result in a 35-year prison term instead of 25 years behind bars for Cardenas.

On Thursday, Cardenas was transferred to the Linn County Jail, where he was arraigned on the new charge via teleconference.

Second-degree assault can be treated as a Measure 11 crime, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of nearly six years in prison.

Cardenas’ bail was set at $100,000 by Judge Carol Bispham. His next court appearance is set for 8:30 a.m. July 22.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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