ALAMOSA, Colo. (CBS4) – Alamosa defense attorney James Marshall was formally charged Monday morning for allegedly shooting another man in the back of the head during a protest in downtown Alamosa June 4.
Marshall, 27, faces seven charges: Attempted 2nd Degree Homicide, 1st Degree Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Felony Menacing, Criminal Mischief, Illegal Discharge of a Firearm, and Prohibited Use of Weapons.
Alamosa Combined Courts Clerk Jennifer Pacheco told CBS4 that Marshall waived his right to an advisement Monday morning as he, his attorney, and the 12th Judicial District Attorney Robert Willett appeared before a judge via Webex video conference. Marshall is scheduled to return to court August 28th for a preliminary hearing; whether remotely or in person is yet to be determined.
Marshall is accused of shooting Danny Von Pruitt, Jr., 49, during a protest at the corner of Main Street and State Avenue just before 6 p.m. Pruitt, of Canon City, was driving a black Dodge Ram pickup truck westbound through the intersection during a green light, per police documents. Witnesses told police there protesters in the crosswalk ahead of Pruitt’s truck, and that Pruitt came to an almost complete stop before inching forward at the protesters.
As the crowd parted and the truck continued through, one man on its passenger side fired his gun at the driver, into the rear of the truck’s cab. Some of those witnesses named Marshall, while others who did not recognize him provided photos to responding officers that showed Marshall and his wife, both wearing masks and holding signs, at the protest prior to the shooting.
Pruitt continued driving despite the injury and was found parked 10 blocked away. He was taken to San Luis Valley Medical Center and then airlifted to UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs.
Immediately after the shooting, an officer with the Alamosa Police Department, John Vasquez, found a 9mm cartridge at the Main and State intersection, according to arrest affidavit.
Officers ultimately went to Marshall’s home and found him there with his wife and attorney waiting outside for officers. Marshall was wearing different clothes and absent the mask-covered beard that had appeared in photos provided by witnesses to police.
When Officer Vasquez asked about the beard in the photos, Marshall replied “if he was going to jail he wanted to shave,” Marquez wrote in the affidavit.
In his police interview, Marshall said he and his wife entered the crosswalk as eastbound and westbound traffic was stopped at a red light. When Pruitt’s truck crept forward among the protesters, Marshall said “he went to the passenger side of the truck.”
Marshall then told officers he thought he saw the truck come in contact with his wife, who was still in front of the truck.
“James said he was in fear for his wife’s safety of being run over and he fired a shot into the truck,” the affidavit reads.
Marshall obtained a conceal-carry weapons permit in Boulder County in 2017, according to the document.
Investigators located surveillance video from a business at the intersection that shows the encounter.
“I did not observe (Marshall’s wife) being struck by the truck,” Officer Vasquez stated in the affidavit.
When confronted with this, Marshall told Vasquez “the video would be wrong.”
Marshall provided the officers with his Glock 9mm handgun and was arrested. He posted a $60,000 bond the following day and was released.
The June 4th protest was in response to the police-related death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and was conducted outside Marshall’s downtown office. He told investigating officers he knew of the event in advance and had planned to attend.
A June 6th update on a GoFundMe page raising money for Pruitt’s medical expenses states the bullet is still lodged in Pruitt’s brain, and that he is in critical condition and on life support. The page desribes Pruitt as a disabled veteran. A message sent to the page organizers requesting more recent information has not been returned.