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Projectile suspect makes first court appearance

Projectile attack suspect in court
Charles Lafferty made his first court appearance Friday.

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Charles Kenneth Lafferty, the man suspected of hitting cars with glass marbles on Monterey and San Benito County highways, has been charged with nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

In a Monterey County courtroom Friday afternoon, Lafferty's arraignment hearing was delayed until Monday. He did not enter a plea.

“We have filed the initial charges, and we’re filling additional reports. We had a little glitch in our system that prevented us from getting the additional charges we wanted,” Deputy District Attorney Matthew L'heureux said.

The District Attorney's Office plans to file more charges Monday.

The charges are related to nine different vehicles hit by projectiles in Monterey County between November 2019 and January 2020.

Among the victims in this complain is Alan Jenkins who KION spoke with on Thanksgiving after he was struck along SR 156.

“The officer was said someone was driving the opposite direction and either threw something or, something happened. We don't know. They’re still trying to figure it out,” Jenkins said in November.

Investigators say there is evidence he's responsible for at least one attack in San Benito County.

Lafferty was arrested in connection to 69 reports of projectiles between February 2019 and January 2020. He was arrested in Nipomo.

The CHP said five people were injured by broken glass in the attacks, but the injuries were minor. Investigators believe he is the only person involved.

If convicted, Lafferty could possibly face a long prison sentence for assault with a deadly weapon.

“It could be a maximum of four years [for one count]. The other counts could likely run one third of the middle term consecutively, which would be an additional year for each count,” Lafferty said.

Lafferty is in custody with a $270,000 bail.

Read the complaint KION obtained here:

Crime / Monterey County / San Benito County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.



    1. Hello,
      We at KION would like to contact you tonight by phone if that’s possible. You should’ve received an email just now. But if not, please contact 831 970 5037. We’re curious to see how you know Charles. Thanks!

    2. @timothy says: I don’t know how that interview with KION went, but we the people would like to read what you have to say about the ongoing legal process against your….bear. Is he guilty of the charges being brought against him? Are you a potential witness in the case? Did the accused ever talk to you about the projectile incidents? I believe in due process and the presumption of innocence. You could be helpful in bringing a criminal to justice or acquitting an innocent man.

  1. While I don’t like the new comments platform that came with the site change, I have noticed that at least twice, KION staff has responded to a comment or issue. I will be watching this. Nice to know that the staff at KION actually reads the comments. I know we regulars often bust your chops.

    I think this could have been so much worse, knowing what the weapon was capable of. Whoever was responsible for the projectile incidents, needs a little more jail time than I read about, the current suspects presumption of innocence notwithstanding.

    1. @Frankie AND KION
      Yes, I too appreciate that KION is ready the posts.
      As to Mr. Lafferty, I think most of Monterey County agrees that it not the ‘extent’ of injuries caused by him, it was the potential he was readily and obviously willing and able to inflict, including death. Any one of those drivers, distracted for just a moment, could have caused a fatal crash, including a school bus full of kids! For this guy (presuming this will be the one found guilty) to ever see the light of day again, is offensive to pretty much everyone. His actions are indefensible.

      1. I noticed that the comment borders do sort of help you figure out which post are part of which comment thread…..sort of. Kind of like using an etch a sketch to keep track of things.

        1. It will be interesting to see what defense the accused offers.
          Will it be simply, “wasn’t me”…..or, “I’m crazy and deserve another chance”….
          or (hopefully not) take some ‘plea deal’, get a slap on the wrist and become another
          revolving door MoCo criminal.
          Truth is, for the most part, the gangsters are not a daily threat to ‘civilians’, unless they get caught in the crossfire or are unlucky enough to witness something. Lafferty, however, was a daily direct real threat to literally everyone.

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