MILITARY

An ex-Fort Hood soldier has pleaded not guilty to a federal armed assault charge after officials said he shot three .45-caliber pistol rounds at a soldier last weekend on post.

Ricardo Manuele Davila-DeJesus, 28, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on a felony charge of aggravated assault with intent to do bodily harm.

On Thursday, his defense attorney filed a waiver of arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty for Davila-DeJesus, according to U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas court documents.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske on the same day issued an order accepting the not-guilty plea.

Davila-DeJesus was being held in the McLennan County Jail this week with no bond listed.

On Thursday, a detention hearing to determine bond was set to be held in Manske’s courtroom in the federal courthouse in Waco, but winter weather caused the hearing to be reset to Feb. 18.

During detention hearings, judges are tasked with determining whether a defendant should be held in jail without bond or whether a bond should be set in the case.

Allegations

The allegation stems back to Feb. 6, when police said that Davila-DeJesus became intoxicated and later shot his handgun toward a soldier, according to a four-page affidavit written by an FBI agent who investigated the incident.

The agent was notified by military police investigators “that they had received a report of an assault within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. occurring on the Fort Hood military installation,” according to the affidavit.

At around 12:50 a.m. on Feb. 6, military police responded to a location on Fort Hood after a report of shots fired in the vicinity of Building 9421. “Upon arrival, the MPs patrol observed Davila-DeJesus being aggressive toward and non-compliant with others at the scene,” police said. “MPs also observed a Glock 30, .45-caliber handgun, which had been recovered from Davila-DeJesus.”

Police said that Davila-DeJesus had been inside the building with other people, when he became intoxicated and argumentative. Multiple people attempted to find a ride home for Davila-DeJesus.

“Davila-DeJesus was arguing with (the victim, a soldier) outside the barracks when Davila-DeJesus retrieved the Glock 30 firearm…and pointed the firearm at (the victim). (The victim), who was in fear for his life, turned and ran from Davila-DeJesus into the building,” according to the affidavit.

The victim said he heard three gunshots coming from the direction of Davila-DeJesus, who was “subdued and disarmed by others” following the alleged shooting.

Police said they found spent shell casings at the scene.

“MPs detained Davila-DeJesus, (who) became aggressive and non-compliant,” according to the affidavit.

If convicted, Davila-DeJesus faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Davila-DeJesus has had one misdemeanor conviction, for driving while intoxicated, on Sept. 2, 2019, in Copperas Cove, according to Texas Department of Public Safety criminal conviction records.

He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and a year of probation as well as court costs and a fine. DPS records show that he completed his probation as of Oct. 7, 2020.

The Herald has requested Davila-DeJesus mug shot, however, county and federal officials have not released it.

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