Trial delayed for accused attempted cop killer

Pete Valdez III plead guilty to assault on a police officer with

The son of a former Gilroy city councilman accused of trying to
shoot a Gilroy police officer in the face will stand trial, but the
date will be set later this month after he was recently appointed a
new attorney.
The son of a former Gilroy city councilman accused of trying to shoot a Gilroy police officer in the face will stand trial, but the date will be set later this month after he was recently appointed a new attorney.

Two court-ordered doctors found Pete Valdez III incompetent to stand trial in 2009, and it looked as if a jury would decide whether Valdez should face charges of attempted murder and three other felonies. However, he was declared competent to stand trial at a private hearing April 9.

Valdez, 31, the son of former Gilroy City Councilman Pete Valdez Jr., faces felony charges of attempted murder of a police officer, assault of a police officer with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a gun and delaying or resisting a police officer. If convicted of these charges, Valdez, who has been denied bail, would spend the rest of his life in prison, police said.

About 3 a.m. Nov. 15, 2008, Gilroy police officer John Ballard said Valdez was biking east on West Eighth Street without a headlight and on the wrong side of the road. When Ballard tried to stop him, Valdez allegedly took off.

Ballard caught up with Valdez a few blocks later and a foot chase ensued, police said. During the pursuit, Valdez allegedly punched and kicked the officer, then pulled a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun loaded with seven hollow-point bullets, according to police. Valdez allegedly aimed the gun at Ballard’s face and repeatedly pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed and did not fire, police said.

Ballard resumed fighting with Valdez while another officer arrived and helped subdue and arrest Valdez, police said. In an interview after the incident, Valdez said he pulled the gun in hopes that an officer would shoot and kill him.

“I don’t want to live,” said a crying Valdez after he was apprehended, according to court records.

Valdez has 10 prior convictions including three felony convictions for a strong-arm robbery, according to court records.

Valdez will appear in court 9 a.m. Sept. 16 in Department 110 at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill for trial setting. He is now being represented by the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender.

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