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Preliminary Hearing Set For Man Charged With Fatal Shooting In Old Town Orcutt

Jonathan Highley
Jonathan Highley

A November preliminary hearing has been set for the man accused of fatally shooting Anthony “Tony" San Juan in Old Town Orcutt earlier this year

Jonathan Highley appeared in Santa Barbara County Superior Court alongside his defense attorney, Mark Owens, on Wednesday afternoon.

Highley and his wife, Mayra Perez, were taken into custody hours after San Juan, 43, was fatally shot in a parking lot behind Elmer’s bar in Old Town Orcutt on March 4.

Deputies were called to the bar on East Clark Avenue after a report of a man with a gun at 1:30 a.m., and later a shooting.

When they arrived, deputies found San Juan on the ground with a gunshot wound.

Highley has pleaded not guilty to murder and assault with a firearm, and has also denied several special allegations.

During Highley’s brief court appearance on Wednesday, Judge Gustavo Lavayen set a preliminary hearing for 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 17.

That hearing, to determine if enough evidence exists for Highley to stand trial on the charges, is expected to last all day.

Deputy District Attorney Anne Nudson is leading the prosecution team.

In August, Perez was sentenced to 365 days in jail and five years probation for being an accessory to the crime, after changing her plea from not guilty to no contest.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

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