Trial Date Set For Another Suspect In Attempted Murder Case

Posted 9 months ago

By Fred Gough

John Robert Cantu 3

While one of the six defendant’s in an attempted murder case entered a plea on Wednesday, another pretrial hearing for another suspect was held Friday. This time, it was John Robert Cantu.

District Judge Tim Chambers set a trial date for a month from now on September 3, partly because the defendant is being held in the jail on this case alone. A motions deadline was set for August 16, however the defense already has one pending.

Cantu’s attorney, Sam Kepfield filed a motion to dismiss. He states in his motion that his client was originally charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and aggravated burglary, but after the preliminary hearing, the state requested that his client be bound over on charges of attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault and aggravated burglary. That was granted back on June 5, by Judge

He says the evidence linking his client to the incident is tenuous, saying his involvement was merely driving Joseph LeShore, Desmund Cantu and Troy Bell to the alleged victims home, and there was no evidence or testimony that would suggest that his client had any advance knowledge of any plans to commit the crimes charged.

Kepfield suggest that the state is basing their complaint against John Cantu on an aiding and abetting theory, but Kepfield argues that the defendant must have had a requisite premeditation to murder or in this case attempt to murder the victim. He also argues that no crimes were discussed in his vehicle while they were heading to the victims home.

Judge Chambers declined to rule Friday on the motion, saying he wants to wait to receive a copy of the preliminary hearing transcript that he can look over. That’s still being put together by Judge Joe McCarville’s court reporter.

John Robert Cantu along with the Jordon and Joseph LeShore, Desmund Cantu, Sean Arevalo-Mendoza and Troy Bell are accused with the beating and stabbing of Jeffrey Payne on February 18, after they allegedly broke into his home and and stabbed him numerous times in the leg and torso.

Desmund Cantu Wednesday entered “guilty” pleas in two cases that were combined into one. He entered pleas to aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault. All other charges including attempted murder was dropped by the state.
He will be sentenced on September 13, at 10 a-m.

The others at this point are facing a jury trial.

Troy Bell has a pretrial hearing scheduled for Monday.