Kids present during shooting

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Urioste now facing child abuse charge

By Martin Salazar

Two children were inside the Calle Contenta residence when a woman was shot in the face last week, and one of them was lying in a bassinet directly behind the woman who was shot, recently filed court documents reveal.

That has the 23-year-old Las Vegas man who told police the gun went off accidentally while he was playing with it in hot water.

Michael J. Urioste, of the 2300 block of Calle Contenta, was initially charged with a single count of negligent use of a deadly weapon, a petty misdemeanor. He was arrested and booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center on a $5,000 cash bond. But because he had only been charged with a petty misdemeanor, he was released from jail on Dec. 11, two days after the shooting.

Las Vegas police amended the charges on Thursday, filing a new criminal complaint in San Miguel County Magistrate Count. Urioste now stands accused of child abuse, a third-degree felony, in addition to the petty misdemeanor count of negligent use of a deadly weapon. Police have also charged him with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor and possession of marijuana, a petty misdemeanor.

He was taken into custody again on Wednesday, and his bond is now set at $10,000 cash.

Las Vegas police continue to investigate the shooting. They were initially unable to interview Urioste’s wife, Christina Urioste, because of her injury. She was airlifted to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe.

The shooting occurred at about 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the couple’s residence. Urioste had been drinking, and he told police all he remembers is the flash of the muzzle and his wife looking at him and blood on her face. He said he isn’t sure how he pulled the trigger.

Court documents state that the children in the residence were both 4 months old.

Although court documents don’t specifically state that the children were the couple’s, at least one of them has the same last name.

Accompanying the criminal complaint was an affidavit for arrest that spells out the new details in the case.

It states that both children were taken into custody by the state Children, Youth and Families Department.

According to the affidavit:
One child was in a bassinet directly behind the couch where Mrs. Urioste had been sitting when she was shot. The other child was in a rear bedroom. The children were taken to Alta Vista Regional Hospital for a checkup after the shooting.

Police observed that the residence was messy with dirty dishes on the floor and clothing scattered about the residence.

Police asked Urioste for permission to search the residence, and he agreed.

The revolver, a 38-special handgun, was found on top of a pile of clothes. Police also found a small amount of suspected marijuana and a smoking pipe on a small table in the residence.

This isn’t the first time that Urioste has been charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon.

On Feb. 27 he was arrested for firing a round in front of the fire station on Legion. The probable cause statement in that case states that Urioste told police he fired a round into the air because he feared that he was about to get jumped.

Online court records show that he pleaded guilty to that charge and was given probation, which he successfully completed.