Left to right: Booking photos for Matthew K. Archuleta and Luis A. Maldanado (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)
LOGAN — A 27-year-old Logan man, suspected in an armed robbery, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in advance of a possible plea deal. Matthew K. Archuleta is one of two men charged with brandishing weapons and stealing money from a group outside a fast food restaurant last fall.
Archuleta and 30-year-old Logan man, Luis A. Maldanado both participated in a virtual preliminary hearing in 1st District Court Tuesday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. Both have been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; multiple counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; and several misdemeanors.
On Oct. 13, Logan City police officers were called to the north Burger King, near 1030 N. Main on report of a burglary. Multiple witnesses reported three individuals had placed an order in the drive-through lane. As they were waiting for their food, one of the men, suspected to be Archuleta, walked into the restaurant and began arguing with the employees about the delay.
The man returned to his vehicle to continue waiting and proceeded to start arguing with another group, in a neighboring car. As the confrontation continued, Archuleta and Maldanado allegedly brandished a shotgun and handgun, robbing the occupants of the other vehicle.
The suspects never fired either weapon. They took an undisclosed amount of cash and drove away.
Police believe the suspects then threatened the occupants of another vehicle shortly after the robbery. The alleged victims were driving on Main St. when Archuleta and Maldanado allegedly drove alongside and pointed a rifle at them.
During Tuesday’s court appearance, defense attorney Mary Martinez said Archuleta wished to waive the hearing, where a judge would have reviewed prosecutor’s evidence in the case. She said they were working on a possible plea deal to lesser charges but needed time to work out the details.
Moments later, the hearing for Maldanado began with prosecutors playing a 911 call from one of the employees at the fast food restaurant. However, the rest of the hearing had to be postponed, after prosecutors were unable to play their remaining evidence through the web conference.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck ruled that due to the technical difficulties and seriousness of the charges, an in-person hearing should be held as soon as possible. She ordered Maldanado to appear again Wednesday to determine when the hearing could be scheduled.
Both suspects have previously been ordered to remain in jail. Either could face up to life in prison if convicted.