Lake County man held for trial on murder, attempted murder

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A Lake County man accused of killing his 85-year-old father and a longtime friend during an October rampage in which he also allegedly trained his gun on at least five other people will face trial on a long list of felony counts including murder, attempted murder, arson and assault.

Alan Leroy Ashmore, 61, was at home in Clearlake Oaks on Oct. 23 when he apparently blew up because a 22-year-old woman refused his advances, Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson said.

Ashmore held the woman at knifepoint and, when she fought back, shot her in the foot before she escaped, authorities said.

When Ashmore tried to chase after her, his father, Douglas Ashmore, 81, intervened and Alan Ashmore shot him in the face, killing him instantly, officials said.

A neighbor who witnessed the shooting, Harold Noell, drew fire next, but Ashmore’s pistol misfired and Noell got away, authorities said.

After retrieving a 12-gauge shotgun from his house, Ashmore then fired into three neighboring houses before driving a short distance and encountering another man, Richard Braden, who was shot and killed in his car.

A responding CHP officer, Steven Patrick, also was shot but survived because of his bulletproof vest, Anderson said.

As Ashmore went to a nearby gas station, where he stole a soda, and then a convenience store, where he took cigarettes and a lighter, Ashmore fired his weapon at one of the clerks, and missed, and threatened another with his gun, authorities said.

He later threatened another man in an attempt to steal his vehicle, though the driver sped off before he was hurt, Anderson said. Ashmore also lit two fires on the side of the road at one point, apparently to distract pursuing officers while he drove from place to place, finally surrendering when he hit a law enforcement roadblock on High Valley Road on the north side of Clear Lake.

During a daylong preliminary hearing Wednesday, a judge heard testimony and determined there was sufficient evidence to try Ashmore on two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of attempted murder of a peace officer, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of shooting at an occupied dwelling, two counts of arson as well as arson, robbery, burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on April 24.

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 707-521-5249 or mary.callahan@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @MaryCallahanB.

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