KINGMAN — A judge on Tuesday rejected a request to dismiss charges against a Bullhead City man charged in connection with a November drive-by murder.
Brent Ryan Sekel, 23, is charged with first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault and drive-by shooting. He is being held in custody a $120,000 bond.
Sekel’s former attorney, Jamie Askar, previously filed a motion to dismiss the charges. He also withdrew from the case about two weeks ago.
Sekel’s new attorney, Scott Ruffner, who was appointed about a week ago, said he would not have written the motion to dismiss the charges and declined moving that motion forward.
Superior Court Judge Billy Sipe Jr. ruled that there was no basis to dismiss the charges and denied Askar’s motion to dismiss. The judge did grant the prosecutor’s motion to designate the murder case as a complex case.
At the last hearing, Sipe set Sekel’s trial to begin April 28 with a pre-trial hearing set for April 6. Sekel previously asked for a speedy trial. But with a new attorney on the case and the case now designated as a complex case, the trial is likely to be postponed.
Sekel was arrested Nov. 21 on suspicion of hindering prosecution in the connection with the Nov. 17 drive-by shooting of Kevin Castro Hurtado, 24. Sekel allegedly lied to police about his involvement in the murder. He was indicted on the murder charge Nov. 27.
Benjie Junior Nunez, 34, arranged to meet Castro Hurtado around 2 a.m. Nov. 17 at a parking lot of a store on Commercial Way. They reportedly were involved in an altercation the month before.
Castro Hurtado arrived first but when Nunez had not shown up yet, Castro Hurtado, accompanied by his 20-year-old wife and two friends, left the area. Nunez and his passenger Jonathan Arthur Wallace, along with Sekel, who was driving a third car, reportedly followed the victims to the area of Marina Boulevard and Clearwater Drive. Nunez and Wallace were reportedly armed.
Castro Hurtado was fatally shot while his wife suffered a bullet wound to her leg. She was treated and released at a Bullhead City hospital. Police still are searching for Wallace, 27, who is also wanted for murder.
Nunez turned himself in to police later that morning. He is charged with first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault and drive-by shooting. He is being held on a $3.5 million bond.
Anyone with information to Wallace’s whereabouts can contact Bullhead City police dispatch number at 928-763-1999. Mohave Silent Witness is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to his arrest.