Shooting case victim missing

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat

A trial scheduled Thursday for a Valley Springs man accused of shooting his roommate is in question because the alleged victim is gone.

Adam Lee Hagerman, 42, is charged with attempted murder, malicious mayhem and assault with a firearm for allegedly shooting Richard Silveria, 52, on May 7 at a Valley Springs home on the 3800 block of Bartelink Drive.

A five-day trial is scheduled to commence Thursday, but Deputy District Attorney Seth Matthews told Judge Thomas Smith on Monday in Calaveras County Superior Court about the unexpected complication.

Matthews said his office has had "fairly regular contact" with Silveria up until about two weeks ago, when an investigator last spokewith him. Silveria apparently left his last known address about six days ago.

Matthews said he is prepared to go to trial without Silveria as a witness but prefers to have him present.

When asked by Smith if a plea bargain is still possible regardless of Silveria's whereabouts, Matthews replied that discussions are ongoing, and he has put forth an offer that would amount to about four years' prison time for Hagerman.

Jackson attorney Robert Schell, representing Hagerman, said his client is not inclined to take that offer.

"I don't think Mr. Hagerman is going to accept a prison term … even though there is, as with any criminal case, a substantial risk of conviction at trial," Schell said. "He believes he is innocent."

Schell said Hagerman further doubted that Silveria would testify, regardless of whether he can be found.

Sheriff's reports said Silveria was shot in the lower torso last May but survived his injuries after being treated at a Modesto hospital.

Hagerman was found in possession of a semiautomatic handgun and arrested when deputies arrived, the reports said.

Investigators believe the men had been arguing all day about loud music.

Hagerman remains held at the Calaveras County Jail on $662,500 bail.

Smith agreed to continue the trial readiness/settlement conference until 9 a.m. Wednesday in Department 1 of the Superior Court with Judge John Martin presiding.

The Union Democrat
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