Nicory Spann was arraigned Friday on suspicion of attempted murder in the shooting of a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy earlier this week at a Watt Avenue light rail stop.
Surrounded by sheriff’s jailers in his courtroom cell, Spann, 27, appeared agitated as he listened to the charges read by visiting Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jack Sapunor: attempted murder of a peace officer and assault on a peace officer with a firearm.
“I’m going to ask the public to do something very difficult, and that is to reserve judgment unless there is proof of these charges,” defense attorney Jennifer Mouzis told gathered reporters outside the courtroom following Spann’s arraignment.
Spann returns July 21 to Sacramento Superior Court for further proceedings. He remains held in lieu of $1 million bail, Mouzis said.
“One concern I have is that Mr. Spann has been convicted when no one really knows what happened,” Mouzis told reporters. “We are entitled as citizens to the right of a presumption of innocence, and Mr. Spann deserves that right as much as you and as much as I.”
Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Ladwig was working for Sacramento Regional Transit at the Watt Avenue station checking fares Tuesday when he was shot in the face with his service revolver during a scuffle with Spann. He continues to recover at a local hospital.
Ladwig managed to radio for help, bringing dozens of law enforcement officers to the scene. Span was found hiding in a nearby motel hours after the shooting. Doctors performed surgery on the wounded Ladwig to repair what officials later called “major structural facial injuries.”
Spann’s appearance on the attempted murder and gun charges fell on the same day a Sacramento judge was to hold a hearing on a temporary restraining order filed by a Galt father of four who alleged Spann harassed his family, followed his children from school and sexually assaulted his niece. Spann has faced an assortment of misdemeanor charges in Sacramento County since 2012, court records show.
As Spann appeared in court, Ladwig continued to recover from surgery. On Friday, the deputy thanked his fellow officers for coming to his aid – and revealed he had not lost his sense of humor.
“Getting shot in the dome piece sucks!” the deputy said in a message on a GoFundMe page.
The Sheriff’s Department said Friday that Ladwig, a four-year veteran of the Sacramento department, has another surgery coming up. He is expected to be in the hospital several more days.
The GoFundMe page was set up for Ladwig so that the deputy will not have to worry about any financial responsibilities during his recovery, according to organizers. The fund has raised $50,000.
Donations, ranging from $6 to $2,500, have come from 715 people and organizations in two days. Members of the law enforcement community have donated, including former Sacramento County Sheriff and KFBK talk show host John McGinness, former Sacramento police Officer and Arden Fair security chief Steve Reed, Sacramento police Capt. Norm Leong and Lt. Lisa Hinz, head of Sacramento Regional Transit security.
“It was an amazing job by all who participated in the apprehension of Tuesday’s suspect and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for doing what you’ve been trained to do,” read Ladwig’s message on the GoFundMe page. “Running towards the threat, where/when everyone else is running away from it.”