Shootout suspect’s trial begins

David Virgo kept behind bars for almost four years
By: Lien Hoang Special to the Journal
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Attorneys in the trial of David Allen Virgo, who was arrested in 2006 after a police shootout, will give opening statements today at the Placer County Courthouse in Roseville. The 46-year-old from Applegate faces 30-years-to-life in prison and more than 20 felony charges, including 10 counts of attempted murder of a peace officer. He pleaded not guilty to all of them in 2007. Jury selection ended last Tuesday. No one died in the shootout in Newcastle, where Virgo allegedly fired at police who had a warrant to arrest him for felony assault. Virgo, who has five prior prison terms, was in possession of .45-caliber and .9 mm handguns, police said. During the shootout, officers propelled teargas into the home on Happy Hollow Lane, drawing out five people not considered suspects. Police had been pursuing Virgo for three weeks before cornering him the night of Oct. 18, 2006, officials said. The gun battle dragged on into the early morning, when he surrendered and was apprehended. At the time, the suspect was considered an armed and dangerous fugitive who had violated parole, according to court documents, which now makes him ineligible for bail. Since then Virgo has lingered nearly four years in custody without bail awaiting his trial. In that time, his defense attorney, Mary Beth Acton, juggled at least five other trials — two for Veronica Martinez Salcedo, a nanny accused of fatally shaking a toddler, and three murder trials involving Caleb John Madsen. All resulted in hung juries and the release of the defendants.