Sports Anchor Shooting Suspect Appears in Court

Mike Montana, 54, is accused of shooting sports anchor Kyle Kraska multiple times on Feb. 10

The man accused of shooting CBS 8 sports director Kyle Kraska outside his house appeared in court for the first time Tuesday.

Mike Montana, 54, pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted first degree murder with allegations that the crime was premeditated and a firearm was used.

In court, Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp said Kraska was shot six times, including once in the torso and once in the abdomen. She said Montana intended to kill him and shot him from several feet away.

Montana also pleaded not guilty to a charge of making a criminal threat in an unrelated incident. A felony complaint says on Nov. 6, 2014, Montana verbally threatened a victim with injury or death, though the Zipp said she cannot give details about the case.

A status hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24, and a preliminary hearing will occur on March 2. Bail was set at $750,000. Montana faces at least 37 years to life in prison if convicted.

The house painter suspected of shooting and wounding Kraska outside his Scripps Ranch home Tuesday, Feb. 10 led police on a countywide manhunt that ended with a SWAT standoff at an El Cajon home.

"It appears that Mr. Montana was doing work on Mr. Kraska's house and there was a financial dispute," said Zipp. "And that was the reason or the motive."

Kraska suffered 10 bullet wounds as a result of the shooting, which shattered through his car’s back window in a cul-de-sac south of Scripps Ranch Parkway as he was leaving for work.

Emergency crews took Kraska Scripps to La Jolla hospital, where he was immediately taken into surgery, a source close to him said. Hours later, the station reported Kraska was out of surgery and his prognosis is good.

Kraska started at CBS 8 in 1999 as morning and noon co-anchor, and four years later, he was promoted to evening sports anchor.

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