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Santa Clara grand jury indicts state drug agent in shooting
by repost (AP)
Wednesday Jul 28th, 2004 6:09 PM
A Santa Clara grand jury indicted a state drug agent on criminal charges in the case of the fatal shooting of a man who was mistaken for a fugitive.
Santa Clara grand jury indicts state drug agent in shooting

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

(07-28) 16:37 PDT SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) --

A Santa Clara grand jury indicted a state drug agent on criminal charges in the case of the fatal shooting of a man who was mistaken for a fugitive.

The panel, in a rare open proceeding, decided Wednesday to indict California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement agent Michael Walker.

Grand juries normally meet in secret to protect witnesses in ongoing investigations.

Todd Simonson, Walker's attorney, said Wednesday he did not know when the indictment would be unsealed. He said there might be an avenue for an appeal.

On Feb. 17, 2004, Walker was part of a team of state narcotics and parole agents staged in front of a house where a narcotics offender wanted on a parole violation was allegedly hiding.

Rodolfo Cardenas, 43, a friend of the fugitive, drove up to the house in a van and Walker took off after him. Walker radioed other agents that the van driver might be the fugitive, but he couldn't be certain, Deputy District Attorney Lane Liroff told the grand jury.

Walker testified before the grand jury that he fired because he thought Cardenas was wielding a gun.

A folding knife was found in one of Cardenas' pockets, and an autopsy showed Cardenas had methamphetamine in his system the day of the shooting.

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©2004 Associated Press