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Prelim delayed for Tri-Valley man charged after police standoff

Judge reschedules key pretrial hearing for Jan. 10 after witnesses were unavailable Friday

A judge Friday postponed a key pretrial hearing for a San Ramon man charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at law enforcement and a property manager during an eviction attempt in September.

Defendant Mike Ghoneim, who has pleaded not guilty to the allegations, is now due back in court Jan. 10 for his preliminary examination – a hearing during which a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to require a trial.

Authorities allege Ghoneim, 42, shot through his front door while a property manager and two Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies tried to serve an eviction notice at his house on Ashbourne Circle in unincorporated San Ramon on Sept. 18.

The property manager was reportedly shot in the leg. The incident led to a nearly four-hour standoff at the home in the gated community of Norris Canyon Estates.

Wearing a yellow jail uniform, Ghoneim appeared for his preliminary hearing Friday morning before Judge Joyce M. Cram in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez.

However, prosecutor Angela Lyddan asked that the proceedings be postponed because law enforcement officers involved in the case were unavailable to testify.

Defense counsel David Goldstein – who represents Ghoneim – objected to delay, arguing in part that the officers were not material witnesses for the purposes of the preliminary hearing.

The judge ultimately granted the prosecution request, rescheduling the estimated two-hour hearing to occur next month when the officers would be able to take the stand.

Ghoneim's next court appearance is Jan. 7 to confirm the time and location of his prelim. He remains in custody at the county jail.

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