Hall County District judge denies transfer to juvenile court in Walmart shooting case

Yahir Cardenas is charged with attempted murder following a shooting at Walmart in May.
Yahir Cardenas is charged with attempted murder following a shooting at Walmart in May.(MGN)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 3:15 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The charges against 17-year-old Yahir Cardenas will be heard in Hall County District Court.

He is facing 19 charges following the May 2022 shooting at a Grand Island Walmart. Cardenas has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. Those include attempted first-degree murder, 14 counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from or near a vehicle, two counts of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and one count of first-degree assault. He’s also facing a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge.

This stems from a shooting at the South Locust Walmart in the early morning of May 14.

In testimony given by Grand Island Police, Hall County District Court documents reveal that Cardenas and others had planned to assault the 17-year-old victim as he was exiting the party bus because they believed he was messing around with another’s girlfriend.

Court records reveal Cardenas fired multiple shots and had pointed a gun with a laser sight at the victim’s chest. The victim ended up getting shot in the shoulder.

The teen had tried to get the criminal case moved to juvenile court but Hall County District Judge Andrew Butler denied the motion.

During a hearing last week, the judge heard testimony from Grand Island Police, the State of Nebraska District 9 Probation Office and the defendant’s mother. He weighed what he heard, eventually coming up with this conclusion.

Judge Butler said in court documents that “Mr. Yahir Cardenas is a young individual, but his actions are extremely concerning and dangerous. Mr. Yahir Cardenas’ actions have serious consequences as the entire situation started with a plan to assault the victim. Mr. Yahir Cardenas may have a limited criminal history, but the court reiterates the seriousness of the crimes charged and the violence involved as the victim sustained a gunshot wound. Mr. Yahir Cardenas’ actions are more suited and appropriate for the district court.”

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1 with a jury trial set for Dec. 5.

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