The alleged victim in a case of attempted murder now says the defendant is innocent, according to Mohave Superior Court records.
Albuquerque resident Christopher Begaye, 45, has remained in custody since August, following a shooting incident in Lake Havasu City. Begaye was charged in the incident with felony counts including attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault, weapons misconduct and disorderly conduct by domestic violence.
But in a Sept. 14 court filing, Deputy Mohave County Public Defender George Hibbeler argued that the victim — identified as Begaye’s wife – now says her husband is guiltless in the offense.
Hibbeler is now arguing for a reduction to Begaye’s $1 million bond, for which he is expected to argue before Mohave Superior Judge Billy Sipe at a scheduled pretrial conference in the case later this month.
“The alleged victim does not believe her husband is guilty, and wishes him to be released,” Hibbeler said in his motion this week. “The defendant has no felony record within the last 10 years, and no serious, violent or aggravated felonies … the evidence against the defendant is extremely weak. The victim says he did not commit any of the crimes alleged, and the defendant denied intentionally shooting the victim to police. The bail amount of $1 million is excessive to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court.”
The case began Aug. 9, while Begaye and the victim were driving in the area of Park Terrace Avenue. Begaye reportedly discharged a weapon inside their vehicle during their ride, which struck the victim in the upper area of her chest.
According to police investigators, the victim exited the vehicle before Begaye drove away from the scene.
Begaye was reportedly located 15 minutes later at the Shops at Lake Havasu, where police say he was found sleeping on a nearby bench, and arrested at the scene.
The victim penned a Sept. 14 email to the court, requesting that charges against Begaye be dismissed.
“I would like for you to release my husband,” the victim wrote to the court. “He is innocent. I have signed my rights away as a victim to prove he is innocent. I would ask that he be released so he can find work on his own recognizance.”
Begaye’s next scheduled appearance in Mohave Superior Court will take place at a Sept. 27 pretrial conference.