LOGAN — A 30-year-old Logan man suspected in an armed robbery has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Luis A. Maldanado is one of two men charged with brandishing weapons and stealing money from a group outside a fast food restaurant last fall.
Maldanado participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He previously was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony; and two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.
Defense attorney John Easton said his client wished to waive his rights to the preliminary hearing, where a judge would have determined whether or not prosecutors have sufficient evidence to bind Maldanado over for trial. He also asked for more time to consider a possible plea deal.
On Oct. 13, Logan City police officers were called to the north Burger King, near 1030 N. Main on report of a burglary. Multiple witnesses reported three individuals had placed an order in the drive-through lane. As they were waiting for their food, the co-defendant, Matthew K. Archuleta, walked into the restaurant and began arguing with the employees about the delay.
The man returned to his vehicle to continue waiting and proceeded to start arguing with another group, in a neighboring car. As the confrontation continued, Maldanado and a juvenile allegedly brandished a shotgun and handgun, robbing the occupants of the other vehicle.
The suspects never fired either weapon. They took an undisclosed amount of cash and drove away.
Earlier this month, Archuleta accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated assault and two charges of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, both third-degree felonies. He was scheduled to be sentenced May 4.
During Wednesday’s court appearance, Easton said they wanted to see what Archuleta’s sentence is before accepting a plea deal. He asked for pretrial conference after the May sentencing hearing.
Judge Brian Cannell accepted Maldanado’s waiver. He ordered the suspect to appear again in court May 19.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.