A 51-year-old Dos Palos man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to nearly two dozen violent felony charges in connection with the alleged attempted murder of a Merced County sheriff’s detective.
Guadalupe Lopez-Herrera faces 21 criminal counts including attempted murder, domestic violence, assault, carjacking and child abuse. He entered a not guilty plea Wednesday before Judge Carol Ash in Merced County Superior Court, according to court records.
The allegations stem from a string of violent episodes earlier this month that investigators say began with Lopez-Herrera attacking his wife and ended four days later after a nearly hour-long high-speed chase through the central San Joaquin Valley. In between, authorities said, Lopez-Herrera opened fire on law enforcement officers twice and wounded Merced County Sheriff’s Sgt. Clint Landrum.
Landrum’s injury was not life-threatening. Sheriff Vern Warnke has said the deputy is expected to fully recover.
Warnke, in a news conference earlier this month, identified Lopez-Herrera as an undocumented immigrant whom the sheriff said should not have been in the country. Warnke also suggested Lopez-Herrera possibly could have been deported earlier this year in connection with an unrelated misdemeanor domestic violence conviction in January.
“We had him in our custody in January of this year, and because of the folks in Sacramento limiting our ability to cooperate with ICE, we could not turn him over,” Warnke told reporters Sept. 5.
In the prior domestic violence case, Lopez-Herrera pleaded no contest Jan. 23 and was sentenced to 45 days in jail and probation. That probation was revoked in August when he failed to appear in court for a followup hearing, according to court records.
Lopez-Herrera remains in custody at the Merced County jail without bail. He is scheduled to return to court Oct. 8.