Two attempted first-degree murder charges against Liberty shooting suspect dismissed

Michaelangelo Gomez
Posted: Feb. 28, 2013 6:37 pm Updated: Mar. 14, 2013 7:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The two most serious charges facing a Quincy man accused of shooting into a Liberty motorcycle club were dismissed Thursday afternoon during a motion hearing.

Judge Robert Adrian granted the motion by Michaelangelo Gomez's attorney, Barney Bier, to drop two attempted first-degree murder charges.

Bier argued that the intention to kill was not alleged in the charging document. He claimed the allegation that Gomez acted with the knowledge that his acts "create a strong probability of causing death or great bodily harm to other individuals" was insufficient to charge his client with attempted first-degree murder.

"I knew there was a problem with the charges when I first saw them," Bier said.

Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard said he will amend the charges and refile them.

"It's a technical issue," Barnard said.

"This seems like a small price to pay to avoid an appeal," Adrian said.

An Adams County grand jury indicted Gomez on six counts on Nov. 14, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder. The case stems from a shooting at the Midwest Percenters Clubhouse, 601 S. Main, in Liberty. Gomez is alleged to have shot into the clubhouse in the early morning hours of Oct. 27, injuring two people.

The two attempted murder charges carry sentences of 26 to 50 years in the Department of Corrections, a fine of up to $250,000 and three years mandatory supervised release.

Gomez, 41, was arraigned Thursday on the other four charges. He faces two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm and one count of unlawful use of a weapon. The charging document claims Gomez knowingly possessed a loaded, uncased AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in his vehicle.

Gomez pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Adrian set Gomez's case on the June jury trial docket. He is scheduled to have a pre-trial hearing on May 31, with the trial scheduled to begin on June 10.

Robert J. Morrell, 34, of Hannibal, Mo., and Timothy E. Jackson, 55, of Roodhouse, were injured in the shooting. Both were treated and released that day from Blessing Hospital.

Adams County Sheriff's deputies were called to the club at 5:55 a.m. on Oct. 27 after a 911 call was made. Deputies arrested Gomez 90 minutes later in rural Liberty.

Gomez has been free since posting 10 percent of a $250,000 bond on Nov. 26. On Jan. 31, Gomez's bond was modified to allow him to leave the state and travel to and live in Missouri.