Painter pleads not guilty in attempted murder of sports director

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The El Cajon painter accused of shooting KFMB-TV Channel 8 Sports Director Kyle Kraska pleaded not guilty Feb. 17 to premeditated attempted murder in what the prosecutor described as “an ambush.”

Mike Montana, 54, made his first court appearance since the Feb. 10 shooting of Kraska, who was shot six times in his Mercedes-Benz outside his Scripps Ranch home.Kraska, 48, was released from a hospital Feb. 19.

The El Cajon painter accused of shooting KFMB-TV Channel 8 Sports Director Kyle Kraska pleaded not guilty Feb. 17 to premeditated attempted murder in what the prosecutor described as “an ambush.”

Mike Montana, 54, made his first court appearance since the Feb. 10 shooting of Kraska, who was shot six times in his Mercedes-Benz outside his Scripps Ranch home.Kraska, 48, was released from a hospital Feb. 19.

Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp said if Montana is convicted of all the charges, he would face a prison term of 37 years and eight months. She asked bail be set at $1 million, but it was set at $750,000.

Montana’s attorney Kevin Milmoe, asked for $500,000 bail from San Diego Superior Court Judge David Szumowski. Milmoe said Montana had no felony convictions. 

Zipp said Kraska was shot six times in his car at 3 p.m. as he attempted to leave the driveway. She said Kraska had hired Montana to paint his house and there was “a financial dispute” between them.

One of Kraska’s neighbors told KFMB that Kraska hired Montana to paint the house, but was dissatisfied with his work and hired another painter to finish it. The neighbor said Kraska paid Montana for his work, but Montana later left “threatening notes” on his door.

Witnesses saw a white mini-van leave the scene which had the name “Superior Painting” on it. El Cajon neighbors of Montana called police after noticing the same van near Montana lived. The owner of a business with that name told reporters he had never heard of Montana.

Montana pleaded not guilty on an unrelated charge of making a criminal threat to a woman on Nov. 6, 2014, but Zipp told reporters afterwards she could not say anything about it. Other former clients of Montana have told TV news stations that they also were dissatisfied with his work and he later became threatening in collecting money.

The charge of using a gun in a violent crime carries a 25-year penalty. A preliminary hearing was set for March 2. Montana remains in the central jail.

Lemon Grove man sentenced for attempted sexual battery

John Wilson Kreischer, 68, of Lemon Grove, was sentenced Feb. 13 to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of attempted sexual battery upon a 70-year-old Jacumba woman.

Kreischer received such a harsh sentence because he is a third strike offender, having been convicted of rape in 1979 and other sex charges in the 1980’s, as well as a 2009 conviction for failing to register as a sex offender.

“I’m angry. For seven months, I’ve been locked up. I’ve been beat up in jail because of these charges which I didn’t do,” said Kreischer. “The truth is the truth, and the documentation shows she lied!”

The woman testified she met him at a store in Jacumba and he followed her home on July 22, 2014. She said he walked into her home uninvited, kissed and touched her before leaving. She called sheriff’s deputies and he was arrested.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Lantz Lewis gave him credit for serving 416 days in jail and fined him $10,794. A jury convicted him of attempted sexual battery and simple assault on Jan. 13, but they also acquitted him of burglary and assault with intent to commit rape. The jury also acquitted him of assault involving a second woman.

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