A 62-year-old man was charged with involuntary manslaughter today in Sunday’s shooting of a man in the Santa Cruz Mountains who was later found dead on San Jose State University property, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Craig Naomi Yuhara, of Los Gatos, is accused of firing a .357 caliber pistol that mortally wounded Daniel Winslow, 47, during a dispute over an alleged stolen moving truck near Los Gatos, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Brian Welch said.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Hector Ramon ordered Yuhara held on $75,000 bail and set the defendant’s plea hearing for Oct. 17 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose. Winslow was shot while a passenger in a Jeep driven by a person who is still at large, Welch said. “It’s a fair inference that we’d like to talk to the driver,” Welch said. The involuntary manslaughter charge against Yuhara includes an enhancement for using a firearm, Welch said.
The district attorney’s office decided to file for involuntary manslaughter in the homicide after finding no evidence that Yuhara intended to kill Winslow, Welch said. “He was shooting to send a message to the driver not to return,” Welch said after the hearing this afternoon. On Saturday at about 9 p.m., a pair of men abandoned a moving truck across from Yuhara’s home in the 20400 block of Old Santa Cruz Highway about a quarter-mile east of state Highway 17, according to the San Jose State University Police Department.
Yuhara reported the parked vehicle to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, which later determined the truck was stolen and out of gas with its ignition punched out, university police reported. Deputies contacted a woman who was the truck’s registered owner and granted her permission to arrange to retrieve it, police said. At about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, with the truck still parked near Yuhara’s home, two men arrived in a Jeep, including Winslow on the passenger side, police said.
Winslow got out and started pouring gas into the truck’s gas tank. Yuhara then came out of his home armed with the .357 handgun, police said. Winslow returned to the passenger side of the Jeep and the unidentified driver drove up a hill at about 25 mph toward Yuhara, who moved out of the way to avoid being hit, police said. After the Jeep drove past him, Yuhara fired a round and reported hearing Winslow yell, “I’m hit, I’m hit,” police said. The Jeep drove away and Yuhara contacted the sheriff’s office.
About an hour later, Winslow was found dead in the Jeep parked next to San Jose State University’s tennis courts in the area of East Humboldt and South 11th streets in San Jose, police said. The bullet had traveled through his back and into the left side of his chest, police said. Since the Jeep with Winslow’s body was on university property, the university’s police department handled the homicide investigation, Welch said.
Some witnesses later told university police that the driver had informed them that Winslow’s truck had run out of gas on the Old Santa Cruz Highway and the Jeep driver gave Winslow a ride to put gas into the truck, police said. The driver then reportedly told the witnesses that an Asian man had confronted them and as they drove away the man shot Winslow in the back, police said. Yuhara’s defense attorney Riccardo Ippolito said his client did not know Winslow, the Jeep driver or anyone associated with the stolen truck.
Ippolito said he expected Yuhara to be released on bail sometime today. A man who identified himself only as Jeff and claimed to have known Winslow spoke separately with Welch and news reporters after the hearing. “Danny was a good guy,” said Jeff, who claimed to have seen Winslow last Friday night. “He was loved by everyone who knew him.” Winslow, who leaves behind a son, was in the process of moving from East San Jose, had borrowed the moving truck from a friend and went back to the truck after it ran out of gas, he said. Jeff said that a friend of Winslow’s named “Richie” was the driver of the Jeep.
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