Man Held in Pot Grow Murder of Guatemalan

     EUREKA, Calif. (CN) – A man who allegedly shot two Guatemalan men, on a 600 acre marijuana farm in rural Kneeland last summer, has been held for murder in Humboldt County Superior Court, the Eureka Times-Standard reported Wednesday.
     Judge Bruce Watson found, Tuesday, that Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos had presented enough evidence to hold Mikal Xylon Wilde for the murder of Mario Roberto Juarez-Madrid and the attempted murder of Fernando Lopez, both of Santa Rosa Guatemala, the paper reported.
     According to the paper, testimony in the four-day preliminary hearing indicated that Wilde had hired three men in San Francisco to tend his 1,500 to 2,000 plants. Then, later, Wilde told them he did not have money to fuel the truck used to water the plants, so the men would have to water them by hand. This upset the men and they asked to be paid for work already done and driven back to San Francisco.
     The three men walked to the Kneeland Cal Fire station and tried to contact Thomas Tuohy, of San Francisco, who had connected them with Wilde. When they returned, Wilde was angry, and told them he would pay them and have his girlfriend take them home, at which time he left, the paper reported the men told the judge.
     When Wilde returned, he opened fire on Juarez-Madrid and Lopez with a handgun, killing Juarez-Madrid and shooting Lopez in the face, according to testimony by Lopez, and witness Christopher Bigalow. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detective Rich Schlesinger testified that Juarez-Madrid appeared to have been shot twice, once in the back and once in the back of the head, according to the paper.
     Schlesinger further testified that the sheriff’s office had been investigating the drug operation for over a month, and was getting the property description to write a search warrant on Aug. 26, 2010, the day of the shooting, the Times-Standard reported.
     The preliminary hearing lasted so long because Wilde’s attorney, Andrew Martinez, wanted to make sure he had detailed testimony from Bigelow and Lopez, in case either was not available at the time of trial, according to the paper.
     The Times-Standard reported that, during the hearing, District Attorney Gallegos requested that charges against Wilde for marijuana possession and cultivation for sale be dismissed. Later, he told the paper that there were questions regarding whether the grow was illegal or meant for medical marijuana, which is legal by state law, although it may be prosecuted federally. There also are questions regarding whether Tuohy or Wilde is the brains of the operation, reported the paper.
     Gallegos told the Times-Standard he did not want the marijuana cultivation issues to cloud the murder case.
     “Mikal X Wilde” is listed as the president of suspended California corporation Compassionate Patients Center, Incorporated, formed in 2006, in California Secretary of State online entity records. A corporation may be suspended for state tax issues, or failure to file certain paperwork with the Secretary of State.
     Mario Roberto Juarez-Madrid leaves behind and wife and two children, in Guatemala, the Times-Standard reported.

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