Barton County Attorney Amy Mellor announced Monday that her office has filed an appeal in a case following the dismissal of charges stemming from a shooting in May of 2016.
“In early February, a pending case against Alejandro Azteca was dismissed when a judge determined that the State had not complied with a Kansas law on detaining a person from another state,” Mellor noted in a news release.
On May 21, 2016, Azteca allegedly shot Phillip Pardo with a .45 caliber handgun outside a Great Bend apartment complex. Azteca fled to Minnesota where he was later arrested and extradited and returned to Kansas for trial.
Last month he was released from the Barton County Jail on Feb. 9. A jury trial was set to begin that day but Barton County District Judge Scott McPherson ordered his release.
The Great Bend Tribune reported he was released when it was determined the prosecution failed to provide him with a speedy trial. Mellor told the Tribune at that time that her office was reviewing the district court’s order, as well as recent case law from the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals that could affect some of the charges against Azteca.
The latest statement gives an additional reason for the case’s dismissal.
“The judge determined that although Azteca had filed a request for action under one law, he had not complied with that law. But, according to the judge, the State acted on his request to return him from Minnesota. The judge also found that the prosecution had not brought him to trial in a timely manner.”
Mellor’s news release notes that she disagreed with that decision.
“We sought extradition of the defendant, which is an entirely different procedure to return a defendant to Kansas,” she said. “The Governor of Kansas made a request to the Governor of Minnesota to allow us to bring the defendant back to Great Bend. Minnesota said yes, we brought him back, and we were ready to try him when the case was dismissed. Under the law, we still had plenty of time to bring the defendant before a jury.”
The appeal will go to a panel of judges on the Kansas Court of Appeals.