Syracuse, New York

From the Syracuse Post-Standard of May 10, 2007

Grand jury declines to indict city man in June 24 slaying of Carlos Ortiz-Martinez.

A Syracuse man accused of killing one man while trying to shoot a different one will not face prosecution as a result of a grand jury review.

The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office reported Wednesday that a grand jury voted not to file a second-degree murder charge against Alfredo H. Dashnau Jr. in the June 24 slaying of Carlos Ortiz-Martinez, 21, in the street in front of 212 Barrett St., Syracuse.

Dashnau, 27, of 134 Putnam St., had been accused of intentionally killing Ortiz-Martinez by shooting him in the head. Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Spano said evidence indicated the grand jury accepted an argument that Dashnau was defending himself or a companion.

Spano said Dashnau actually was trying to shoot the person with Ortiz-Martinez. That other man has never been publicly identified.

Spano said evidence indicated the man was pointing a gun at a person with Dashnau when Dashnau fired a rifle at the gunman. The shot hit Ortiz-Martinez instead.

That still amounts to a legal justification defense as Dashnau was trying to prevent deadly physical force against his companion, Spano said.

There was no weapon charge filed against Dashnau by the grand jury because the gun involved in the shooting was a rifle and not a handgun that would have been illegal to possess on the street, the prosecutor said.

According to Spano, the two groups of men had been fighting with each other for months. Spano said the source of the animosity has never been made clear to authorities.

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