Suspect in double shooting returns to Sutter County
A Linda gang member recently convicted on federal drug charges was transferred to Sutter County last week to face attempted murder allegations in connection with a gang-related gunfight last year outside a Yuba City bar.
Yuba City police linked Bryce Wayne Nicholes to the Jan. 29, 2012, shooting of two Yuba City men during a gang-related dispute outside Big John's Bar and Grill, Sgt. Brian Baker said.
"We believe he (Nicholes) started the shooting," Baker said Saturday.
Baker said it remains unclear who returned fire that night. No other arrests have been made.
Many of those involved, including the two victims, have refused to cooperate with police investigators.
Eric Baca, 26, and Michael Ybarra, 21, were shot in the parking lot during the fight. Both were treated and released from the hospital.
Violence sparked after two groups started arguing just after 1 a.m.
Baker declined to say how police linked Nicholes to the shootout.
Nicholes, 24, was indicted April 5 on unrelated federal drug charges.
Yuba-Sutter NET-5 agents arrested Nicholes on March 1 in the 1600 block of Twisted River Drive. Agents seized a pound of methamphetamine, two stolen firearms and an unspecified amount of crack cocaine in the east Linda home, officials said.
He pleaded guilty in July to methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute in exchange for a 10-year prison term. The plea deal cut Nicholes' sentence in half.
He was formally sentenced in October in US District Court in Sacramento, according to court records.
Baker said investigators identified Nicholes as the prime suspect in the bar shooting back in May, but waited for the federal case to close before seeking formal attempted murder charges.
Nicholes has been in custody in Sacramento County since April.
He was booked Friday into the Sutter County Jail without bail on two counts of attempted murder, assault with a firearms and committing a violent felony on behalf of a criminal street gang.
Yuba City police coordinated their investigation with NET-5 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the drug case.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.