News Release|

On August 29, a jury found Daniel Ayala, 29, guilty of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

In June 2021, Aurora police responded to a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian near E. Kent Drive and E. Loyola Place. Upon arrival, officers found a 30-year-old man with injuries to his lower body.

The victim stated that as he was walking his dog, a white Chevrolet Avalanche accelerated toward him, striking him with the hood of the vehicle. The victim was taken by ambulance to Aurora South in critical condition.

During the investigation, the victim identified the driver as Ayala, a prior acquaintance. When questioned by police, Ayala admitted hitting the victim with his car on purpose.

Ayala was charged with Attempted Murder, Assault with a Deadly Weapon Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and two sentence enhancers for committing a violent crime with a weapon.

A jury convicted Ayala on all four charges following a 3-day trial.

“This defendant tried to kill the victim by running him over with his truck,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrew Steers said. “To make matters worse, this defendant then physically attacked the victim on the stand. The verdict is appropriate.”

As the victim was testifying during trial, Ayala, who was free on bond, jumped up from behind the defense table and repeatedly struck the victim in the face and body. Multiple individuals in the courtroom, including Deputy District Attorneys Chandler Neumann and Kate Tierney intervened and detained Ayala. Both the victim and Neumann sustained minor injuries.

“Attacking a victim while he is testifying is an insult to our justice system and something no witness should ever have to fear,” Deputy DA Chandler Neumann said. “The victim showed tremendous bravery throughout the trial and this verdict will finally provide the victim with some closure.”

Ayala’s bond has since been revoked and he will be sentenced in this case on October 28.

He also faces the following new charges as a result of the alleged courtroom assault:

Retaliation against a Witness/Victim (Class 3 Felony)

Third Degree Assault (M1)

Violation of a Protection Order (M1)

Violation of a Protection Order (M1)

“Violence in our courtroom will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “I believe the actions of our Deputy DAs and multiple citizens in that courtroom saved the victim from sustaining serious injuries. This was a righteous verdict.”

This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Chandler Neumann and Kate Tierney.

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