Steven Carrillo

Court Hearing for Suspect in Slaying of Sheriff's Sargeant Continued to July

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A court hearing for a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant charged in the ambush slaying last weekend of a sheriff's sergeant in Ben Lomond has been continued to next month, prosecutors said Friday.

Steven Carrillo faces 19 counts that include murder, lying in wait and possession of explosives, will remain in custody with no bail, according to the Santa Cruz District Attorney's Office.

Carrillo, 32, was set to be arraigned Friday in Santa Cruz Superior Court, but the arraignment is now set for July 17, when he will enter a plea, according the DA.

Carrillo is accused of gunning down Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, on June 6 in Ben Lomond, where sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a white van carrying firearms parts and materials to make explosives.

Before they made contact with him, Carrillo allegedly opened fire on three deputies, fatally hitting Gutzwiller and also fired on California Highway Patrol officers who arrived to assist.

The officers returned fire on the defendant and struck him.

The District Attorney's office not yet decided which penalty will be sought against Carrillo. The charges include special allegations related to the killing of an officer in the performance of his duties and killing while lying in wait, which carry a potential sentence of the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Carrillo's also charged with the premeditated attempted murder of four other officers, assault on a firefighter, armed carjacking, two attempted armed carjackings, and the premeditated attempted murder of a good Samaritan with both a firearm and an explosive device.

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