FROM: Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON: Ed Fernandez, Deputy District Attorney
Domestic Violence Unit
(408) 792-2518   For Immediate Release on May 6, 2002   On May 6 the criminal trial of Gerard Riffel will begin before Judge Marilyn P. Zecher, Department 26, Hall of Justice.   On January 15, 2001, at 8:15 p.m., Gerard Michael Riffel attempted to kill his wife, Diane, by shooting her several times at close range with a .45 caliber pistol. The attack occurred in the garage of her townhouse on Rodling Drive in San Jose. Also wounded in the shooting was their daughter, Heather, age five. When police arrived, Riffel kept them at bay by threatening to shoot them and himself. Reluctant to release his wounded family members, the defendant was finally persuaded to allow police to carry away his wife and daughter after an hour of negotiation. During the standoff, he also shot at many officers, wounding one, who was trying to deliver a telephone to replace his defective cellular phone. Also present in the home throughout the standoff was defendant’s four-year-old son, Isaiah, whom he kept as hostage until he finally surrendered at 7:45 a.m.   The defendant faces life in prison.   ### 

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