Defendant rejects plea deal in Medford courtroom

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 7:31 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A man who had been expected to plead guilty Tuesday to weapons charges surprised a Medford courtroom by rejecting a plea agreement and demanding to stand trial on attempted murder charges.

The Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/VNoriW) 30-year-old Aaron Daniel Adrian Merlina turned down the deal that would have given him a sentence of less than six years in prison. If convicted of attempted murder he would face up to 20 years behind bars.

Merlina is accused of firing three shots into a Talent home in a fight with residents on Thanksgiving Day 2011. No one was hurt, but an 11-year-old girl was showered with broken window glass.

Merlina asked for a new lawyer and said he'd rather go before a jury than be forced into a plea agreement.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/

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