Man charged in gang-related stabbing protests loudly in court

Adan Manuel Valdez

A Medford man facing attempted murder and other charges for allegedly stabbing a man in the abdomen last week erupted in loud denials at his arraignment before a Jackson County Circuit Court judge today, but still got his bail reduced.

"I didn't do any of these charges," Adan Manuel Valdez said. "This is illegal what you are doing."

Valdez, 33, faces charges of attempted murder and first-degree assault for allegedly chasing a 24-year-old man down the street on a bicycle and on foot into a Plum Street house on May 29. Police say Valdez stabbed the victim, then fled after strangers at the house intervened, police said.

Valdez was taken into custody Monday on the two Measure 11 charges, as well as further charges of first-degree burglary, resisting arrest and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Valdez continually interrupted and argued with Judge Lorenzo Mejia during his arraignment hearing, stating he did not want the charges read into the record, saying they were a "defamation of my character."

"I'm not going to get a fair trial," Valdez said.

Investigators said Valdez, who claims to be a Sureños gang member, and a woman were assaulted earlier that day in what police believe was a gang-related attack, and Valdez believed he was seeking revenge for it with perhaps a rival gang member. Police said Valdez' victim has no gang affiliations and was not wearing clothing that could have led others to mistakenly believe he was a gang member. The victim underwent surgery at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center for four stab wounds to the abdomen and was released from the hospital on Friday, police said.

Mejia repeatedly admonished Valdez to temper his outbursts. The law required his charges be read, Mejia said. Reviewing Valdez' prior criminal history, Mejia noted Valdez had "record full of court sanctions and violations" for past offenses.

"You are out of control and these are very serious charges," Mejia said. "You are not helping yourself at all. You are digging a bigger hole."

At about noon Monday, detectives investigating the stabbing discovered several people at a house on the 800 block of West 13th Street, including Valdez. They also found a bicycle with unique markings, identical to the ones described by the victim, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

Valdez tried to leave the residence while police were questioning him, and four police officers were required to subdue him during the arrest, Budreau said. Valdez was taken to the Medford Police Department for questioning while investigators obtained a warrant to search the house where investigators found additional evidence implicating Valdez in the stabbing.

Valdez was initially lodged at the Jackson County Jail on more than $2 million bail. In spite of Valdez' outbursts, Mejia reduced his bail to $500,000 at the hearing. He must post $50,000 to be released. Valdez was also given a court-appointed attorney and advised not to discuss his case. A preliminary hearing is set for 4 p.m. on June 11.

— Sanne Specht

Read more in the Mail Tribune on Wednesday.

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