A case against Albert Contreras could go to a Fayette County grand jury as early as next week as a first step in extraditing him back to Lexington in the shooting of a 9-year-old boy, a prosecutor says.
Contreras, 28, is being held in Kanawha County, W.Va., where he was arrested Thursday afternoon on a warrant from Lexington.
He is charged with first-degree assault for the March 7 shooting that critically wounded a 9-year-old who was riding in a car with his parents. The boy, who has been identified only as "Antonio," remains at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.
"What we have to do in order to get extradition started is that there has to be an indictment," Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson said Friday.
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If there are no complications, a case could be submitted to grand jurors on Tuesday, he said. The grand jury reviews charges to see if they should stand.
Once the extradition process is underway, Contreras could be back in Lexington in a matter of days, or it could take weeks if he elects to fight extradition, according to Larson.
Larson said his office will confer with Lexington police either late Friday or Monday morning to go over evidence officers have gathered that could be presented to the grand jury.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we could present the case on Tuesday," he said.
Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department said Contreras was arrested at a relative's home south of Charleston, W.Va., after Lexington police detectives provided the location.
The suspect was arrested after a brief struggle and lodged in jail, according to Humphreys.
Police have said Antonio was riding with his parents in the late afternoon of March 4, when another driver pulled up behind and fired at least two shots into their vehicle. One bullet struck Antonio in the neck, according to police.
Police have said the case did not involve road rage, and that Antonio's parents did not know the shooter.
No motive for the shooting has been made public.
Contreras was in custody briefly this week, but was released on bail only hours before police issued a warrant identifying him as the suspected shooter in the case.
He was arrested Tuesday night for nonpayment of fines for intoxication and disorderly conduct back in 2009, then released early Wednesday morning after posting $229 bond.
Police announced Thursday afternoon that they were seeking Contreras in the shooting.
If Contreras is indicted, the Fayette commonwealth's attorney's office would file an extradition warrant with Gov. Steve Beshear. Beshear's office would then submit a request to the West Virginia governor.
Contreras could then agree to extradition or choose to fight extradition in court.