Hotel — who appeared in Manteca superior court Tuesday, Jan. 14, for further arraignment on a charge of shooting at an inhabited dwelling — was ordered by Judge Ron Northup to stay away from Nikki Mello and the mall.
Deputy District Attorney Ron Indran asked Northup to enforce a stay-away order because Mello had been near the eastern entrance of the mall when the shooting occurred. Indran would not say that she was a target, but he wanted the order “just to be on the safe side.”
Mello, 18, is also a witness in a criminal case against 20-year-old Angelo Alex Abila.
Abila is accused of shooting Mello in the back as she broke up a house party at her Redbridge home in the early morning hours of March 16.
Mello’s mother, Yvette Perez, confirmed during a telephone interview Tuesday that her daughter was walking by the eastern exit of the mall when the shooting occurred around 4:45 p.m. Dec. 20. She said she believed that Mello being there was a coincidence.
“She told me she never saw Hotel that night,” Perez said.
Perez added that Hotel and her daughter were “longtime friends” and classmates at one.Harmony, a county-run alternative school in Tracy. She said they had been close friends and sat next to each other in school.
Hotel, 18, was in court Tuesday for further arraignment, but his attorney was unable to attend the hearing. His case was continued to 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28 in San Joaquin County Superior Court in Manteca.
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