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Son Denies Guilt in Shooting of Dad

May 27, 2000|TRACY WILSON

A 26-year-old Fillmore man has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his father with a gun during an argument at a wedding reception last weekend.

Chad Morales is charged with two felony counts of assault with a firearm and one misdemeanor count of drawing a firearm in the presence of a peace officer.

If convicted, Morales faces up to four years in state prison for each of the felony charges and up to a year in jail for the misdemeanor.

Morales entered the plea during an arraignment in Ventura County Superior Court on Thursday. A preliminary hearing is set for June 9.

Morales was arrested last weekend after a Saturday night shooting behind the Fillmore-Piru Veterans Memorial Building at the corner of 2nd Street and Central Avenue.

Authorities say the defendant and his father, Tony Morales, were arguing outside the building during an evening wedding reception when Chad Morales left, returning with a gun about 8:45 p.m.

Tony Morales, 51, a former Fillmore police officer, confronted his son and asked him to leave. Witnesses described Chad Morales as drunk and disruptive.

The argument continued and a shot was fired from the gun Chad Morales was holding, authorities said.

A female deputy called to the scene fired her weapon at the defendant after he allegedly pointed his gun at her. The shot hit Tony Morales in the upper torso when his son allegedly pulled him into the line of fire, a Ventura County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

Tony Morales was treated at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital for a gunshot wound and later released.

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