One of SD County's most wanted fugitives in court for preliminary hearing on attempted murder charge

Ramiro Espinoza held in lieu of $3M bail

SAN DIEGO - A man who was one of San Diego County's top 10 most wanted fugitives when he was arrested after a roughly eight-hour SWAT standoff in Imperial Beach, was scheduled to be in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing to see if he should stand trial on attempted murder and other charges.
   
Ramiro Espinoza, 35, is charged with shooting his ex-girlfriend in the head, neck and chest while her 4-year-old child was present in the 1800 block of Smythe Avenue in San Ysidro on May 24.

The 28-year-old victim, whose name was withheld, was hospitalized in critical condition but survived. Her child was unhurt.
   
Aside from attempted murder, the defendant is charged with corporal injury to a spouse or roommate with allegations of great bodily injury, the use of a gun, assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse and being a felon with a gun. He faces 40 years and four months in prison if convicted.
   
A judge will decide at the end of the preliminary hearing whether the prosecution has presented enough evidence to warrant ordering Espinoza to stand trial.
   
Since his arrest in July, Espinoza, who has a history of drug and domestic violence arrests, has been held in lieu of $3 million bail.
   
Espinoza was arrested in the 300 block of Elkwood Avenue about 1:15 a.m. July 26. A deputy responding to a report of gunfire about 5:10 p.m. the previous day chased after Espinoza, who jumped a fence and temporarily got away, according to San Diego County sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell.
   
Deputies sealed off the area, evacuated about two dozen homes and searched door-to-door until Espinoza was found and arrested.

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