Man Accused of Killing Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Appears in Court

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STANISLAUS COUNTY -- Forty-eight hours after a deputy was shot and killed execution style in the town of Hughson, the man accused of pulling the trigger made his first court appearance.

Dozens of Deputy Dennis Wallace’s friends were there, security was tight and tensions were high.

For the deputy’s friends, Tuesday’s arraignment was heart wrenching.

“It hurts. It hurts for his wife, it hurts for us,” friend Natalia Bower said.

Friends, former co-workers, some with black bands around their badges, stood still in sadness at Stanislaus County Superior Court as Wallace’s suspected killer, David Machado, heard the robbery and murder charges against him.

He pleaded not guilty.

“It’s been rough. It’s been a rough couple days,” said Sgt. Anthony Bejaran, a public information officer with the Stanisalus County Sheriff’s Office.

Machado was caught in Tulare County on Sunday after allegedly robbing a woman and carjacking a white Kia Rio on Sunday, according to investigators.

Earlier that day, Machado is suspected of shooting Wallace twice in the head at Fox Grove Park in Hughson.

The loss has moved an entire community.

“Always smile, always joking around, always in a good mood. To die like that? That’s not right,” Bower said.

FOX40 also got a hold of surveillance footage of Machado inside a Modesto jewelry store less than 24 hours before the deadly shooting. The audio is difficult to make out, but the owner of El Centro said Machado said he was in a tough financial situation. He pawned a gold ring for $400.

“I noticed something not quite right about him,” El Centro owner Doris Sumner said.

Back in court, only a couple of Machado's relatives showed up.

When Machado walked in he looked upset, looked back into the crowd and was reprimanded for doing so and muttered under his breath, "I just wanted to see who was behind me."

His relatives did not speak to FOX40.

But Deputy Wallace’s friends did, and they vow to work through this trying time and fight to the end, hoping Machado gets the punishment they said he deserves.

“I want him dead. That’s what I want. I want justice,” Bower said.

For the murder charge -- there is no bail set for Machado.

He is being housed in a Tulare County jail cell because of the circumstances surrounding the killing.

The District Attorney’s office has not announced whether they will seek the death penalty.


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