by Wheeler Cowperthwaite

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January 30, 2013
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DA considering murder charge following road rage incident

The family of a Carson City woman critically injured in an alleged road rage incident made the decision Tuesday to take her off life support and the District Attorney is considering filing a murder charge against the man. Leonardo Cardoza, 27, allegedly drove his car into Desiree Bragg, 19, crushing her against her mother's house on Cinnabar Avenue Saturday night, according to the police report.Cardoza will be in court for his 72-hour hearing at 1 p.m. today, when the district attorney will submit a criminal complaint with the charge against him. The district attorney's office is considering a murder charge, District Attorney Neil Rombardo said.Sheriff Ken Furlong said in a press release Tuesday night that he is calling for a death investigation. Furlong said that his office and members of the District Attorney's office were notified by Bragg's family that “she would not recover from her injuries and that organ donor arrangements were being made.”In the press release, “Furlong acknowledged that there had been earlier reports of Bragg's death, including widespread condolences to Desiree's family, but that investigators determined them to be premature to the detail.”Cardoza was arrested Sunday morning after he and Bragg had been transported to the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno by helicopter.Cardoza allegedly began tailgating the victim and her fianc on Highway 50 near Lompa Lane. The victim drove onto the freeway and exited on College Parkway, heading west, with the silver minivan still behind her, according to the sheriff's report. Bragg was driving and her fianc, Steven Castro, was in the passenger seat.The victim then pulled into the driveway of her mother's house, with the minivan close behind. When the victim exited the vehicle, the minivan allegedly drove forward, pinning her between the van and the house. The victim's fianc told deputies he went to the driver's side of the minivan and began hitting the driver. The driver then backed out and drove south on Cinnabar, where he crashed into a back yard two blocks away, according to the report.Cardoza then allegedly walked back toward the victim's home, where the victim's brother grabbed a table leg and began to hit Cardoza. The victim's fianc began to hit him as well, stopping when they heard sirens, according to what the victim's fianc told the sheriff's office.“There's no motive for this incident, none whatsoever,” Sheriff Ken Furlong said. Detectives and the district attorney's office had met to discuss the case Tuesday evening, he said.“We have to make sure there's no stone left unturned,” he said.

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 30, 2013 03:27PM Published Jan 30, 2013 03:09PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.