SANTA MARIA – The judge in the preliminary hearing for 18 year old Michael Ledesma did not allow a Central Coast News camera inside court to record the evidence and testimony introduced at the hearing.
A key piece of evidence introduced first at the hearing is a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department Deputy's "dash cam" video that captures the CHP officer shooting of Ledesma on Highway 135 north of Los Alamos last July.
The video shows the CHP officer, a nearly 25 year veteran, firing several rounds at Ledesma who then falls away out of camera range after being shot.
The video shows Ledesma holding his arms out as he stood about 10-12 feet away from the officer next to his CHP patrol car just before the shooting.
Ledesma cannot be seen holding a knife in the video.
The CHP officer testified Ledesma immediately came at him with a knife as soon as he was the first law enforcement officer to arrive on the scene behind a parked car Ledesma was riding in.
The officer told the court Ledesma ignored orders to "stop" walking toward him and "drop" the knife before the officer opened fire, believing Ledesma was going to attack him with the knife.
When the video was first shown in court in the morning, Ledesma broke down crying while sitting next to his public defender.
The judge ordered a brief recess.
Ledesma's parents, sitting in the gallery, were also wiping away tears but they declined to talk to Central Coast News about the hearing.
Another key piece of evidence is the 911 call made by Ledesma's then-girlfriend who reported Ledesma was threatening her and her two year old daughter sitting in the back seat with a knife and was suicidal as they drove around the area just prior to the shooting.
Ledesma's former girlfriend was also called to testify in the preliminary hearing.
If the case does go to trial Michael Ledesma is facing several years in prison if a jury convicts him on all counts, including attempted murder of a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment… along with a gang enhancement.
The preliminary hearing continues next Tuesday afternoon in Santa Maria Superior Court after which the judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence to put Ledesma on trial.
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:27 GMT
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Vandenberg AFB officials tell Central Coast News that Highway 1 has been blocked off near the main gate. Officials say they are investigating a stolen van. Very littleMore >>
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Vandenberg AFB officials tell Central Coast News that Highway 1 has been blocked off near the Santa Maria gate because a driver made threats to base defenders.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 11:06 PM EDT2013-05-26 03:06:34 GMT
ATASCADERO, Calif. -- An arrest has been made in the murder of Atascadero State Hospital worker Colleen Barga-Milbury. Police arrested 49-year old Mark Alan Andrews, who they say lives in the same neighborhoodMore >>
An arrest has been made in the murder of Atascadero State Hospital worker Colleen Barga-Milbury.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:13 PM EDT2013-05-26 02:13:15 GMT
PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- As more and more of you hit the road to get to your Memorial Day Weekend destination, California Highway Patrol Air Operations is keeping you safe on the road from the skies. CHPMore >>
As more and more of you hit the road to get to your Memorial Day Weekend destination, California Highway Patrol Air Operations is keeping you safe on the road from the skies.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:11 PM EDT2013-05-26 02:11:00 GMT
OCEANO, Calif. -- The Boys and Girls Club in Oceano got a special visit from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's K9 and Search and Rescue Unit. It's all part of a grant from the Sheriff's DepartmentMore >>
The Boys and Girls Club in Oceano got a special visit from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's K9 and Search and Rescue Unit.More >>