Accused Shooter Rejects Plea Deal in Court; Demands Jury Trial
Aaron Daniel Adrian Merlina shocked the Jackson County Circuit Court yesterday when he refused to accept a plea agreement on weapons charges and demanded to stand trial on multiple attempted murder charges.
The 30 year old Merlina told Judge Tim Barnack he would not accept the agreement for a 70 month sentence his public defender had negotiated and wanted the defender fired saying he would hire his own attorney.
Talent police allege Merlina fired three shots with a small caliber hand gun into the residence in the 100 block of South First Street early on Thanksgiving Day in 2011 in the continuation of an altercation that occurred the previous night.
Two of the shots went through a window and one through the front door. No one was injured but an 11 year old girl was showered with glass after the shots went through the window near where she was sleeping.
The Judge told Merlina he was entitled to withdraw his plea, but reminded him he would face 20 years if convicted of the attempted murder charges.
The county prosecutor said he would leave the offer on the table until 1:30 p.m. Thursday.