The teenager charged with firing a gun in Park City Center last October, striking three people and causing mayhem as people rushed for safety, has dropped his effort to have his case moved to juvenile court.
Jeremiahs Josiah-Alberto Sanchez was 16 at the time of the October 17 shooting but was charged as an adult because of the nature of the crimes, District Attorney Heather Adams said at the time.
Sanchez is charged with two counts of attempted homicide, four counts of aggravated assault — all first-degree felonies — and 52 counts of reckless endangerment and other charges.
After his arrest, Sanchez asked a judge to move his case to juvenile court, which focuses on rehabilitation and includes supervision until age 21.
Judges must decide if moving a case from adult to juvenile court will serve the public interest, based on several factors, including the offense’s impact on the victim or victims and how amenable to rehabilitation the defendant would be in a juvenile setting.
But after a status conference in August, Judge Jeffrey Conrad approved Sanchez’s request to withdraw his petition to move the case.
Sanchez’s lawyer, Korey Leslie, did not return repeated phone messages left this week.
A trial date has not been scheduled in the case. Sanchez is being held at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County.
The shooting began when Elijah Isaiah Deliz, 19, and Sergio Vargas, 31, both of Lancaster, confronted Sanchez near Reed's Jewelers in the mall’s J.C. Penney wing. Sanchez pulled a Glock handgun from his waistband and began shooting, according to police.
Deliz was hit in the left thigh and Vargas was shot in the left hand after grabbing Sanchez from behind. Another bullet hit a 30-year-old woman bystander in the right arm, then shattered a glass door and wall at Sephora.
A 50-year-old man who was legally licensed to carry a concealed handgun then shot Sanchez, ending the shooting, officials said. That man was not charged.
The handgun Sanchez used had been reported stolen in Lebanon County, according to authorities.
Deliz and Vargas were charged in March with disorderly conduct for their roles. Court records indicate both pleaded guilty before District Judge Mary Mongiovi Sponaugle on April 18. Deliz was ordered to pay $753 in fines and costs with no further penalty. Vargas’ sentence was not publicly available, according to the Lancaster County Clerk of Court’s office.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by a mother and daughter who were trampled and injured when hundreds of shoppers fled the mall is pending in Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas.
The suit, filed in April, faulted the mall’s owner, Chicago-based Brookfield Properties Retail Holding, for failing to address the potential for violence.
The lawsuit – filed by Lucy A. Mendenhall, of Lancaster, and her daughter, Wendy A. Mendenhall, of Connecticut – did not specify their injuries, but at a November court hearing for Sanchez, a detective testified that one of Lucy Mendenhall's ribs had cracked and punctured a lung, which led to pneumonia and a blood clot. She spent time in an assisted care facility to relearn how to talk, the detective testified.
Brookfield has denied the Mendenhalls’ claims.