DA’s office levels 18 charges against man in Fruitvale party shootings

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed 18 charges against a man accused of shooting five people during an early-morning party this month at a Fruitvale home.

Joshua Gregory Anton, 20, was formally charged with six counts of first-degree assault, eight crime-of-violence counts, two counts of second-degree assault, and misdemeanor counts of prohibited use of a weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.

The prohibited-use count alleges Anton was intoxicated while firing a gun.

Anton appeared before District Judge Brian Flynn on Wednesday shackled and dressed in a red jump suit, an indication he is being held in a high-security wing at Mesa County Jail. He is scheduled to return to court next month.

Anton’s arrest affidavit — law enforcement’s factual basis for bringing charges — remains sealed.

During bond arguments following Anton’s arrest, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said he was considering filing five counts of attempted murder in the shootings Dec. 13, which hospitalized five people who attended a party at 2984 Krista St. Anton lived next door. All victims have been treated and released from St. Mary’s Hospital.

“Generally, it boiled down to the rapidity of what happened and the chaotic situation that appears to have been in place at the time,” District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said of his decision not to pursue attempted murder charges. “We would have a hard time proving beyond a reasonable doubt there was intent to kill.”

Anton’s father, Mark, sat in on Wednesday’s hearing and maintains his son acted in self-defense.

“They attacked him first, and it was five on one when they told him to leave,” Anton said after his son’s hearing.

“They (law enforcement) are taking the side of the gangbangers,” he said.


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