Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hispanic teen immigrant shooting suspect makes faces in court

Melica Johnson:

Hector Canales-Robles

A 17-year-old accused of shooting a classmate in the face at a popular outlet mall on the Oregon coast made his first court appearance on Tuesday and there are now clues as to what may have sparked the crime.

Hector Canales-Robles made faces and danced in his chair while in court. He faces adult, Measure 11 charges in connection with the shooting of 18-year-old Ty Pedersen, who was shot twice in the face on Saturday.

Pedersen had to be flown to a Portland hospital where he is currently undergoing treatment.

According to the allegations laid out in court documents, Canales-Robles was working at a clothing store at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Lincoln City when he took a break to commit the crime, going so far as to wear an all-black outfit and putting a nylon over his face.

Information in the court documents also reveal a possible motive in the crime that shocked Lincoln City - police say the victim once dated the suspect's girlfriend.

Canales-Robles and Pedersen are both upper classmen at Lincoln City's Taft High School where rumors of the love connection and possible motive are circulating.

Still, most students say Canales-Robles is a nice guy and is incapable of such a crime.

However, students are overwhelmingly in agreement that if he is found guilty, he should face the toughest sentence possible.

Even the school's principal supports the District Attorney's decision to try Canales-Robles as an adult. "I'm of the opinion that at his age, right and wrong is a notion he understands," said Steve Kilduff.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement put an "immigration hold" on Canales-Robles following his arrest.

A spokeswoman for the agency told KATU News he is an "immigration violator," but she could not specify whether he was in the country legally or not. He could have been in the country legally but violated his immigration status somehow.

His relatives blocked our view when we turned the camera on them and were in no mood to talk after court.

Lincoln City mall suspect returned to work after shooting


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