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Suspect wounded in gunbattle with law enforcement is son of Stanislaus County judge

Law enforcement investigates scene of officer-involved shooting in Snelling

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Snelling Road in Merced County, Calif., on Friday, March 10, 2017. Kevin William Mayhew, 40, of Turlock, fled Thursday while Turlock Police served a search warrant.
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Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Snelling Road in Merced County, Calif., on Friday, March 10, 2017. Kevin William Mayhew, 40, of Turlock, fled Thursday while Turlock Police served a search warrant.

The son of a Stanislaus County Superior Court judge is the subject of a multi-agency investigation after he led police on an overnight pursuit that ended in a gunbattle in Snelling.

Kevin William Mayhew, 40, of Turlock is in custody at the Merced County Jail on $4 million bail.

Sheriff Vern Warnke said his office plans to recommend attempted murder charges against Mayhew.

Mayhew’s father is Judge William Mayhew, who handles civil cases. He has been a judge in Stanislaus County since 1994.

The pursuit began when police attempted to serve a search warrant at a home near the intersection of Quincy Road and Hawkeye Avenue In Turlock. The judge lives in that neighborhood, and voter registration records show Kevin Mayhew residing at the same address.

The judge answered his door Friday morning but declined comment.

Kevin Mayhew fled about 7:45 p.m. Thursday while Turlock police served the warrant. He led police on a pursuit, crossing into Merced County and prompting Merced County sheriff’s deputies and Merced police to follow him.

The chase ended in Snelling when Mayhew drove over a spike strip. He got out of the car and began firing an assault-style weapon at law enforcement officers, who returned fire. Mayhew was struck multiple times and treated at a Modesto hospital.

The deputies are on paid administrative leave, a standard practice.

A next-door neighbor of Judge Mayhew’s, Joe Aghassi, said he was shocked and pained for the family to hear of the incident. He said he’s known the judge’s son only by a nickname, “Red,” but always has found him easygoing and polite.

Kevin Mayhew was convicted in 2002 of felony vandalism stemming from a March 2001 window-smashing spree, Modesto Bee archives show. Investigators said Mayhew and two accomplices used slingshots and marbles to shoot out windows in businesses and parked cars, causing more than $100,000 in damage to dozens of Modesto and Turlock businesses.

Warnke said his office will lead the investigation of the pursuit.

“Because of the information we received from Turlock police, that’s the reason we pursued this guy, because of the severity of the crime they were investigating,” Warnke said.

The Department of Justice will investigate the officers-involved shooting and arrived at the scene about 1 a.m., Warnke said.

Snelling Road likely will be closed for several more hours while the Department of Justice investigates the crime scene.

This is a developing story. Stay with the Sun-Star for updates.

Modesto Bee staff writer Deke Farrow contributed to this report.

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