SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors filed murder charges Tuesday against two Utah residents in the slayings of two California sheriff's deputies during a shooting rampage that also left a motorist and third deputy wounded.
Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, who was booked into jail under the pseudonym Marcelo Marquez, and his wife, 38-year-old Janelle Marquez Monroy, appeared separately in court for an arraignment, but did not enter pleas.
They were both shackled and in a courtroom cell surrounded by sheriff's deputies during their appearances. Monroy-Bracamonte, his left forearm heavily bandaged from an injury he suffered before his arrest, asked Sacramento Superior Court Judge Helena Gweon to slow down as she read the charges against him.
Federal immigration authorities say Monroy-Bracamonte has been living in the U.S. illegally after being convicted in Arizona for selling drugs in 1997 and deported to Mexico twice, most recently in 2001.
The 14-count complaint charges both with the murder of one deputy, though authorities say Monroy-Bracamonte fired the fatal shots. He alone is charged with the other slaying.
Monroy-Bracamonte is facing special circumstances that could qualify him for the death penalty. At an afternoon news conference, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said she and Placer County District Attorney Ronald "Scott" Owens, who are jointly prosecuting the pair, have not yet decided whether to seek his execution.
"The facts speak for themselves," she said, but added that prosecutors follow a legal protocol in making such decisions. "We're not going to treat this case any differently."
The prosecutors, joined by sheriffs from both counties, also declined to say if they have determined a motive for the shootings or why the pair had journeyed to California, where they apparently had no ties. The couple appeared to be living quietly in the Salt Lake City area until their arrest in California.
Attorneys for Monroy-Bracamonte and Monroy declined to comment on the charges after the hearing.
Jeff Barbour, the public defender who is representing Monroy-Bracamonte, said he had just been appointed and hadn't seen the police reports. Peter Kmeto, who is representing Monroy, said he would reserve his comments for court.
Authorities say Monroy-Bracamonte, 34, fired all the fatal shots during Friday's rampage, first killing Sacramento County Deputy Daniel Oliver, then wounding a motorist while attempting to carjack his vehicle. The charges say he used a .9mm handgun in both initial shootings.
Both are charged with the attempted murder and attempted carjacking of motorist Anthony Davis, Monroy as an accomplice. Davis is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds.
The couple is also charged with two more attempted carjackings and one successful carjacking.
They fled to neighboring Placer County, where Monroy-Bracamonte is charged with killing a second deputy and wounding a third using an AR-15 assault rifle. He and his wife are charged with the murder of Placer County homicide detective Michael Davis. The complaint says he fired the fatal shot but that she was an accomplice.
The complaint alleges that Monroy-Bracamonte stole a Placer County sheriff's department vehicle along with a sheriff's department shotgun.
It also accuses the pair of attempting to murder two other Placer County sheriff's deputies, Charles Bardo and Joseph Roseli, along with attempting to murder and wounding Placer County deputy Jeffrey Davis, who was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm. The charges say Monroy-Bracamonte fired the assault rifle at all three deputies, with Monroy as an accomplice.
Other charges say the pair possessed an assault rifle that is illegal in California, and that Monroy-Bracamonte was a felon in possession of the rifle, stolen shotgun, .9mm handgun and a .380 caliber handgun.
Investigators were trying to determine how Monroy-Bracamonte avoided scrutiny despite being fingerprinted by police in West Valley City, Utah, during a misdemeanor hit-and-run arrest in 2003. Utah authorities never connected him to his real name or his previous criminal record.
Associated Press Writer Fenit Nirappil contributed to this report.