Charge dismissed against 20-year-old man in Willmar police shooting case
WILLMAR -- The lone charge against the youngest of four men arrested in a Willmar police shooting has been dismissed.
The first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer charge against Adrian Salinas, 20, of Willmar, has been dismissed for lack of probable cause. Salinas was charged under the aiding and abetting provision of Minnesota statute.
Salinas was one of four men charged after the Sept. 15 incident in which multiple shots were fired on a Willmar police officer in the Subway parking lot along First Street South. One of the shots struck the squad car and three other bullets struck a nearby residence.
The dismissal was issued in an order filed Dec. 20 in Kandiyohi County District Court by District Judge Donald M. Spilseth.
In the memo included in the order, Spilseth noted the state had failed to provide sufficient evidence Salinas "actively and intentionally aided, advised, hired, counseled or conspired" ... to attempt to cause the death of officers in the Sept. 15 incident.
Salinas was found in the vehicle from which shots were fired on an officer. Several handguns were also located in the vehicle, including one under his chest. However, the judge ruled that the guns, along with Salinas' purchase of ammunition a week before the incident, did not demonstrate the level of involvement required.
Salinas, his brother, Arcadio Salinas Jr., 23, Leroy Diaz Evans, 26, and Jesus Trevino, 33, were all charged in connection to the incident. The three remaining suspects face the possibility of life in prison if convicted of first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer or aiding and abetting first-degree attempted murder.
Arcadio Salinas faces the same first-degree aiding and abetting charge that was dismissed against his brother. Arcadio Salinas makes his next court appearance Jan. 24.
Diaz Evans has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer charge, along with five first-degree burglary charges for the home invasions that allegedly occurred before the shooting. His next hearing is Monday and a jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 24 to 28.
Trevino also faces a first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer charge and five first-degree burglary charges. His next court appearance is Jan. 13.
The charges were filed after a Sept. 15 incident, in which Willmar police were called around 4:40 p.m. to the 800 block of Second Street Southeast on a report that two Hispanic males had appeared at a residence with guns.
Several people there reported that two men had come looking for a man, demanded money, pointed their guns at them and then left. A witness identified the men as Evans and Trevino.
Officers were dispatched to the same address around 6:50 p.m. regarding the same intruders inside the residence with guns. One of the officers pulled his vehicle into the back parking lot of the Subway restaurant and the second officer pulled his vehicle over along Second Street.
Gunshots rang out, with a bullet striking the headlight of the squad car in the parking lot. The officer ducked down, but noted the color of the shirt of the person sitting in a parked vehicle and firing on him. The shots also struck a stop sign and a nearby home. Two of the three bullets entered the interior of the home, but no one was hurt.
The two officers gave chase as the suspects ran from the parked vehicle. Trevino was apprehended attempting to climb over a nearby fence. Evans was located walking across Second Street.
Witnesses to the second home invasion reported that three men entered their home displaying guns and demanding money. The men were wearing masks, with one of them hitting a man in the head several times with a gun.
The witnesses recognized Evans from his voice and stature and Trevino from the first intrusion.