A 29-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a big-rig driver on a highway in Lathrop earlier this month appeared in a Stockton courtroom Tuesday for arraignment.
Andrew Christopher Watson did not enter a plea to the charge of first-degree murder and an enhancement for the discharge of a firearm in connection with the killing of 37-year-old Shodiev Ilkhom.
The California Highway Patrol said a shooting occurred on the afternoon of June 15 on Interstate Highway 5 south of Louise Avenue and resulted in a commercial truck and trailer being driven out of control and off the freeway.
The big-rig ultimately struck two parked vehicles and a building. The CHP said Ilkhom had suffered one gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.
He was a father of two children and was from Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We want to extend our sincerest condolences to Mr. Shodiev and his family, and we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law,” San Joaquin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Ott said.
After a week of investigations that utilized surveillance cameras, witness statements, and help from the public, a search warrant was authorized and served over the weekend for Watson.
He was arrested and booked into county jail without incident.
Ott said CHP investigators and other authorities relied on the community to help make an arrest in the homicide.
“It was the unparalleled effort by the investigators of the California Highway Patrol,” Ott said. “We relied on civilians, witnesses, businesses, trucking companies, everybody came together, the community came together to put together enough evidence that we were able to make an arrest.”
Watson stood before a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge Tuesday in an orange jumpsuit as he was told that the added enhancement could result a sentence of in 50 years to life in state prison.
No bail was allowed for Watson, and he is set to appear in court again on July 25 for further arraignment.