SJ Walmart rampage suspect faces attempted murder charges

April 4, 2013 5:42:08 PM PDT
The San Jose man accused of driving a car into a store and attacking customers is now facing attempted murder charges.

On Thursday Haamid Zaid was charged with two counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of hit and run, two counts of vandalism, and one count of reckless driving. And the judge said no bail because he considers Zaid a serious threat to the public.

A calm Zaid stood in court Thursday, conferring with his two attorneys, one of them handling the Walmart case and the other the incident last December at a car wash.

If found guilty, Zaid could be sentenced to life in prison. The most serious of the 12 charges are two counts of attempted murder.

The district attorney's says Zaid's actions outside the Walmart store last Sunday showed deliberate premeditation; in other words, he planned to kill someone.

"Citizens seeing his maneuvering within the parking lot, his entrance into Walmart, what he did prior to that, which was basically stop, rev his engine, and then go forward towards the doors," Deputy District Attorney Deborah Hernandez said.

New cellphone video showing the chaos outside the store, seconds after the car rammed through the entrance. It was part of a San Jose police report released for Zaid's court appearance.

Defense attorney Victor Vertner has yet to see all of the evidence developed by investigators, but he made it clear what he thought about the attempted murder charges.

"I'm suggesting they are off-base, yes, from what I know," Vertner said.

Ten of the 12 counts against Zaid are related to the Walmart incident. However, the district attorney's office also added two charges from three months ago when Zaid is accused of crashing into a San Jose car wash.

At the time, police thought Zaid had lost control of the car as he tried to drive off after striking another car three miles away. But now, he faces an attempted murder charge for that plus felony vandalism. Security camera video, and Zaid's Walmart crash, prompted a review.

"We have since re-looked at that evidence, pulled some video in reference to that, and have added two counts into this case that involve the Chevron incident," Hernandez said.

Zaid will be back in court next Wednesday to enter pleas for the 12 charges he's facing.


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