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Las Cruces man accused of shooting wife and shooting at police accepts plea and sues city

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- A man accused of shooting his wife and shooting at police has agreed to a plea deal and is suing the city seven months after the incident.

Julian Valenzuela's attorney Kurtis Donisthorpe told ABC-7 Valenzuela entered a no contest plea to the top count of attempted murder. He pled guilty to three lesser charges.

3rd Judicial District Judge Douglas Driggers accepted a deal to drop the domestic dispute charges against Valenzuela last week.

Valenzuela is suing the city due to a police officer's decision to release a K-9 officer during the arrest, resulting in deep bite marks that left him with lingering pain, scars and nerve damage. The K-9 failed to release twice when commanded to do so by an officer.

The K-9 attack lasted over a minute. Police immediately after took Valenzuela to the hospital.

Donisthorpe said the decision was unnecessary as Valenzuela was submitting to police at the time the K-9 was deployed.

Police told ABC-7 the March 4 incident began with a domestic dispute at around 5:30 p.m. on the 700 block of Shannon Street.

Valenzuela's wife called police after suffering multiple gunshots. She was able to give police a description of her husband and the vehicle he drove away with before being airlifted to University Medical Center in El Paso. She survived the incident.

Police soon after found Valenzuela and attempted to pull him over near the 2000 block of South Espina Street. Valenzuela was accused of shooting at an officer, and police said the officer shot back at least one time.

According to police, Valenzuela tried to drive away, ran a red light at a busy intersection, and crashed into another vehicle at the intersection of South Espina Street and University Avenue, right next to New Mexico State University.

The criminal case, which runs alongside the civil lawsuit against police, is set to appear before Judge Casey Fitch on October 25.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call La Casa at 575-526-9513. They also offer walk-in emergency shelter between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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Kerry Mannix

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