Angelo Alex Abila, 20, pleaded guilty Feb. 6 to assault with a firearm, use of a firearm in the act of a felony, inflicting great bodily injury and committing the incident for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
At that time, Abila agreed to a sentence of 20 years in state prison.
During his scheduled sentencing Monday in San Joaquin County Superior Court, Abila’s attorney, Vittoria Monica Bossi, told Judge Franklin Stephenson that her client wanted a new attorney.
Stephenson told Abila that he had the right to be represented by whomever he desired. But he reminded Abila that a change in attorney would likely not change the plea he had agreed upon with the district attorney’s office.
“I don’t think it will make a difference,” the judge said, before granting his request and continuing the case to 8:30 a.m. April 18 to hear a motion to allow Abila to withdraw his guilty plea.
Abila’s new attorney is a man named Mr. King, but no additional details were provided. The attorney was not present at the hearing.
Abila is accused of shooting Nikki Mello in the backyard of her house on the 2800 block of Redbridge Road. The shooting occurred while Mello was breaking up a party she was having in the early morning hours of March 16, 2013.
Mello, now 18, was struck once in the back, and the bullet remains inside her body.
Abila is in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp without bail.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4225.