Local News

Friday, Aug 02 2013 05:36 PM

Motion to increase bail for attorney charged with murder denied

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Mark Madrigali, left, is charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Trivia. This file photo was taken in Kern County Superior Court. Mark Madrigali has since been released on bail.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    H.A. Sala who now represents Mark Madrigali was in Kern County Superior Court Friday with his client to bring up several issues pertaining to Madrigali's case during the morning hearing.

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

A judge denied a motion Friday to increase the bail of a DUI attorney charged with murder in the shooting of his wife.

Mark Joseph Madrigali, 57, instead will remain in custody on $1.525 million bail as he awaits an Oct. 10 preliminary hearing.

Madrigali's attorney, H.A. Sala, gave a short presentation in Department 2 of Kern County Superior Court in which he showed several photographs that he said indicated the shooting death of Trivia Madrigali was an accident.

Sala said one of the images, a crime scene photo taken at the Madrigali house, shows such a wide spread of pellets from the shotgun blast as to be consistent with Mark Madrigali accidentally firing, not intentionally targeting Trivia Madrigali.

"This photograph, taken by detectives, is consistent with an accident ... ," Sala said.

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Andrea Kohler objected to Sala's presentation, telling Judge Thomas S. Clark that they weren't in court Friday to begin trying the case. Clark agreed, but said he'd give Sala some leeway in making his argument.

The judge, in deciding against raising bail to $2 million, said he didn't believe Mark Madrigali posed a danger to any other members of the public, and didn't consider him a flight risk. Clark also said Madrigali hasn't been able to raise the money for his current bail.

Trivia Madrigali died July 10, about a month after being shot at the couple's northeast Bakersfield residence. Mark Madrigali called 911 after the shooting, and told responding officers he had accidentally shot his wife, according to Bakersfield police reports filed in court.

Trivia Madrigali was found lying on the living room floor, a spent shotgun shell beside her, the reports said. Her clothing was drenched in blood.

Officers smelled alcohol on Mark Madrigali's breath, the reports said.

More than a dozen guns and several empty or partially empty bottles of alcohol were found at the residence, according to the reports. Family members of Trivia Madrigali have told detectives Mark Madrigali is an abusive alcoholic.

The California State Bar disciplined Mark Madrigali in February 2010 following a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. Madrigali runs a private practice defending clients from traffic ticket and driving under the influence charges.

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