A preliminary hearing for Stephen Montano, 22, of Grants was continued Friday in Los Alamos Magistrate Court after he declined to sign a plea agreement offered by Deputy District Attorney Kent Wahlquist.
Montano is one of two men involved in an Aug. 25 incident in which an attempt was made to run down Los Alamos Police Cpl. Robert Larsen subsequent to a shoplifting incident at Smith’s Marketplace. Montano was charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, shoplifting and conspiracy for the purpose of committing shoplifting.
Upon his arrest in Los Alamos County, Montano was served with an outstanding warrant from Cibola County from a 2015 case on charges of aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, abuse of a child, resisting arrest, aggravated driving under the influence, failure to yield, no insurance and expired registration. Cibola County court records reflect previous warrants for failure to appear and failure to adhere to pretrial conditions of release in that case.
Montano’s attorney Tyr Loranger asked Judge Pat Casados to reduce bond for him because he was anxious to see the Cibola County charges pushed along. Loranger said if he had a defense attorney to correspond with in Cibola County there was a possibility they could work out some type of global plea deal regarding the charges from both counties.
Wahlquist said Montano is a flight risk based on the aggravated fleeing charge in Cibola County and that he also had run from police in the Los Alamos case. He said he felt some kind of bond was appropriate but that he would leave the amount to the Court’s discretion as long as Montano had the new date for his preliminary hearing before the left the Justice Center.
Judge Casados agreed to give Montano a $1,500 security bond to “let him get started in Cibola County without Los Alamos County paying for transportation back and forth. She urged Montano to keep in touch with Loranger. She added that she did not always appreciate “all the global pleas”.
A new preliminary hearing date has been set for Dec. 1.