The three parolees arrested Wednesday in connection with a toddler's shooting in April will make their first court appearance today in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
The three were released from prison on parole within the past nine months, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Police detectives say they believe David Lee Harper, 30, shot 22-month-old Josue Becerra in west Modesto on April 25. They are trying to determine whether anyone was in the car with him, said Sgt. Craig Gundlach, a Modesto police spokesman.
Josue was shot in the abdomen about 7:30 p.m. as he played in front of his parents' home on H Street, a block from Modesto High School. The bullet remains lodged in one of his kidneys, but he has been released from the hospital.
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Authorities arrested two men who they believe may have helped Harper after the shooting: his brother Daniel Paul Harper Jr., 32, and Roneel Ra- jensh Prasad, 22. All three are from Modesto.
The Harpers were arrested on suspicion of violating parole April 26, the day after Josue was shot, according to Modesto police. Prasad was arrested the next day for the same reason.
Ensuring they stick around
There does not need to be a new charge for such an arrest, Gundlach said. If officers want to question a parolee in connection with a crime, they can request that the parolee be returned to custody to ensure his or her availability.
David Harper was charged with attempted murder in Josue's shooting, while his brother and Prasad were charged with being accessories to the crime, police said. David Harper's bail is $500,000, according to the Sheriff's Department. The other two have bail of $5,000. But they also have no-bail holds, so they cannot bail out of jail until it's determined whether they violated parole.
David Harper was released March 3 on parole, according to the corrections department, after being sentenced in 2006 to two years in prison for abusing or endangering a child. He first was released on parole in March 2007 but was sent back to prison twice for parole violations, once three days after his release and a second time in November.
He first was sentenced to prison in 2001 for several crimes, including assault with a deadly weapon, second-degree burglary and domestic violence. He served nearly three years, according to the corrections department.
Second shooting unsolved
Harper's older brother, Daniel, was released in August after being in and out of prison since 2003 on a conviction of second- degree burglary and purchasing or receiving a stolen vehicle. He first went to prison in 1995 for vehicle theft.
Prasad was released from prison in October after serving nearly 17 months for second-degree robbery, the corrections department reported.
Police are looking for the culprits in a shooting the same night as Josue's, which left one teenager dead and another injured.
Modesto police ask anyone with information about these cases to call CrimeStoppers at 521-4636. Callers to CrimeStoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2235.