An 18-year-old Santa Maria man who was shot and critically wounded by a California Highway Patrol officer near Los Alamos in July entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to charges related to the incident.
Michael Paul Ledesma has been charged with four felonies, the most serious being attempted murder of a police officer, which included a gang enhancement and an allegation that he used a knife in the commission of a crime, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Ross.
Ledesma made his delayed court appearance in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria.
Ross said the proceedings were delayed until Ledesma could be moved into Santa Barbara County Jail following a lengthy stay in the hospital.
Ledesma was shot during an incident that occurred about 4 p.m. July 15 on Highway 135, some 2.5 miles west of Los Alamos, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
CHP officers and sheriff’s deputies were responding to a 9-1-1 call from Ledesma’s female companion, who reported that he was threatening her and her baby with a knife in a vehicle near Los Alamos.
When the CHP officer pulled behind Ledesma’s vehicle, Ledesma confronted the officer, who believed he was in imminent danger, according to authorities.
The CHP officer fired his gun several times, and Ledesma was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with critical injuries.
Sgt. Mark Williams said that a knife was found at the scene.
Ledesma also faces felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; assault with a deadly weapon on the woman who made the 9-1-1 call; and felony child endangerment, Ross said.
Ledesma, who was being held in lieu of $1.23 million bail, is set to return to court Oct. 17.