General Crime

* Max Wade Pleaded Not Guilty to Stealing Chef Guy Fieri’s Lamborghini in San Francisco

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A San Rafael teenager pleaded not guilty in Marin County Superior Court this morning to stealing celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s yellow Lamborghini from a San Francisco dealership last year and shooting into an occupied vehicle in Mill Valley this April.

The plea by Max Wade, 17, came after Judge Paul Haakenson denied a defense motion to separate the charges related to the Lamborghini theft from the attempted murder and other charges that stem from the shooting. Wade is charged with burglary, vehicle theft and two counts of possession of stolen property in connection with the theft of the Lamborghini on March 8, 2011, from the British Motor Car Distributors dealership on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. He is charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle in connection with the Mill Valley shooting.

Defense attorney Charles Dresow said the two separate crimes occurred a year apart and have no “common element of substantial importance.” Wade is being tried as an adult, but Dresow wanted the stolen Lamborghini charges heard in juvenile court if the judge had severed them from the complaint. Deputy District Attorney Yvette Martinez argued that the stolen sports car is the common element in both crimes.     She said Wade used the $200,000 car to try to impress a 17-year-old girl who was one of the two people in the truck that was shot at in Mill Valley on April 13 of this year. Martinez said Wade offered to let the girl drive the sports car, and used it to meet with her. She said that tied the Lamborghini to the attempted murder of the girl and the other occupant of the vehicle. Neither was seriously in the shooting. Dresow said there is no evidence that the car was stolen to impress the girl.

Haakenson ruled that the Lamborghini is “intricately connected to the defendant’s motive and intent,” and said all eight felony counts in the complaint are connected. The girl filed a restraining order against Wade today, and Haakenson signed it in court. Haakenson said the girl had shunned Wade. The judge set a Sept. 17 date for a preliminary hearing. Wade remains in juvenile hall. After the hearing, Dresow said he respects the judge’s decision. “This will be a very, very long case,” he said. Dresow said Wade’s parents love, support and miss their son and are asking everyone to respect their privacy. “This is a difficult situation for a 17-year-old child to face,” Dresow said. “It’s a very stressful situation. It’s not easy being in custody.”

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