A murder case against a suspect in the 2010 slaying of a Pasco man who was gunned down in Burbank will continue following a Walla Walla County Superior Court judge’s ruling Thursday.
Local defense attorney William McCool wanted the case thrown out, arguing in court documents there isn’t enough evidence to continue holding Victor Castro Aguilar on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree criminal assistance.
But Judge Scott Wolfram disagreed, finding there is sufficient probable cause for the case to move forward.
Wolfram ruled that Aguilar’s alleged actions are enough to tie him to the crimes at this preliminary stage of the proceedings.
Officials say Aguilar’s DNA was discovered on a beer can where the victim was killed.
Also, according to a Sheriff’s Office probable-cause certificate filed in court, a witness who heard shots fired said Aguilar “possibly” ran from the scene.
McCool maintained in court documents that allegedly being there and “possibly” fleeing don’t amount to probable cause. And absent any other evidence, those alleged facts cannot lead to a finding of guilt, he wrote.
But Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle maintained that Aguilar fleeing after the gunshots is evidence of his guilt.
At Thursday’s brief hearing, Wolfram found there was probable cause and denied a defense motion to dismiss.
“(Aguilar) was at the scene, there was a death and he ran away from the scene,” Wolfram said.
It’s probable cause, not a finding of guilt, he added.
Aguilar, 32, is being held in a detention facility in Stanislaus County, Calif. He was incarcerated there on an unrelated matter and was about to be released last month when it was discovered he was wanted in Walla Walla County.
He is fighting extradition to Washington. It’s not known when he will be transferred here to face the local charges.
Aguilar and co-defendant Luis “Chari” Reyna, who has not been apprehended, are accused in the Sept. 10, 2010, killing of Jose Ramon Hernandez-Solis.
Hernandez-Solis, 37, lived in Pasco, but was shot to death in a shop he was renting at 524 Basin Drive in Burbank.
According to officials, Hernandez-Solis, Reyna and Aguilar were among those attending an early-morning party that had begun several hours earlier.
Two men left the party after seeing Reyna in possession of a gun, according to the Sheriff’s Office probable-cause report filed in court.
One of the men fell asleep in Hernandez-Solis’ truck outside and later was awakened by three gunshots. The man saw Reyna and possibly Aguilar run from the shop and get into Reyna’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, after which Reyna backed down the driveway, according to the Sheriff’s Office report.
An autopsy revealed that Hernandez-Solis died after suffering two gunshot wounds -- one to the left side of his neck and one to his left clavicle.