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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 1:56 pm | Fair 63º


Santa Maria Man Seeks Jail Release to Attend Funeral of Brother He Shot

Fernando Navarro Click to view larger
Fernando Navarro

A Santa Maria man is expected to return to Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Tuesday, when a judge may rule whether he can attend the funeral for the younger brother he fatally shot.

Fernando Navarro, 19, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and unlawful firearm activity in addition to several allegations including causing great bodily injury.

The defendant shot his younger brother, Leonardo Navarro, 13 — reportedly accidentally — inside a residence on the 600 block of West Polk Street on Feb. 3. 

The boy was flown by medical helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of critical injuries but died, police said two days later.

On Thursday afternoon, following discussions involving his attorney, Sara Elturk, Deputy District Attorney Anne Nudson, and Judge John McGregor, the matter was continued until Tuesday for further discussions.

With several relatives in the courtroom for support, Navarro sought permission to be released from Santa Barbara County Jail to go to Leonardo’s funeral in Santa Maria next week.

“It’s fairly common to ask for this type of release, but it’s very rarely granted,” Nudson said.

The District Attorney’s Office opposed the request for temporary release based on the information as of Thursday afternoon. 

For the temporary release, the defendant would be accompanied by sheriff’s deputies, an expense he or his family would have to cover. 

At the time of the shooting, Navarro was on probation for brandishing a replica firearm. His probation on that case was not set to end until January 2020.

Also during Thursday’s hearing, the judge vacated the preliminary hearing planned for Feb. 22 but did not set a new date yet.

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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