Sunday, May 28 , 2017, 11:48 pm | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Attempting to Kill CHP Officer

Michael Paul Ledesma, 18, of Santa Maria faces several felony counts stemming from July incident near Los Alamos

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.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >