Pleas expected from parolees accused of trying to run over deputies

Pair is charged with attempted murder of a peace officer

POSTED: 09:40 AM PDT Oct 09, 2012    UPDATED: 05:30 AM PDT Oct 09, 2012 
Legal Law Justice
MURRIETA, Calif. -

Two parolees who allegedly tried to run over Riverside  County sheriff's deputies serving a search warrant at a San Jacinto home are  scheduled to enter pleas Tuesday.

Frank Edward Ortega, 35, and Janet Clara Sanchez, 25, are each charged  with attempted murder of a peace officer and two counts of assault with a  deadly weapon in connection with the Aug. 16 confrontation. Ortega is  additionally charged with reckless driving and being a felon in possession of  illegal drugs.

Each suspect is being held in lieu of $1 million bail -- Ortega at the  Robert Presley Jail in Riverside, Sanchez at the Smith Correctional Facility in  Banning.

According to sheriff's officials, the pair were preparing to leave a  house in the 100 block of Lily Lane near Elderberry Street on the afternoon of  Aug. 16 when several sheriff's units arrived to serve multiple search warrants  at the location.  

Ortega allegedly began driving away from the residence in his pickup  truck, stopped briefly, then  accelerated toward two plainclothes deputies  standing outside an unmarked vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Department.

One deputy dove out of the way to avoid being hit, and both he and his  partner opened fire on the defendants, who struck the door of the sheriff's  car. A pursuit ensued, during which deputies followed Ortega and Sanchez onto  the nearby Soboba Indian Reservation, where the pickup gave out on a dirt road  close to the guard shack, a sergeant said.

The defendants fled on foot but were immediately caught. Neither was  injured, nor were any deputies.  

According to court records, Ortega has multiple felony convictions,  including for illegal possession of firearms and spousal abuse. Sanchez has  been convicted several times of felony possession of controlled substances.