Ovalles guilty in attempted homicide

June 9th, 2015 9:56 pm

First Posted: 5/14/2014

WILKES-BARRE — A jury on Wednesday found a city man guilty of attempted homicide for shooting another man in the face last year.

Joshua Ovalles, 20, of Wilkes-Barre, was convicted in the Jan. 9, 2013, attack on Michael Kubiak. He also is awaiting trial in a separate homicide case from last year, allegedly committed while he was free on $100,000 bail in the Kubiak case.

“We’re obviously pleased,” Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Mary G. Phillips said. “Any time we can take a violent drug dealer off the street, it’s a good day for the good guys, for the commonwealth.”

Police said Ovalles fired three rounds, striking Kubiak in the leg, chest and face while they were driving to buy heroin in the city.

Kubiak drove himself to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where he was found stumbling in the parking lot. Police said Kubiak later identified Ovalles as his assailant based on a photo line-up shown to him.

The trial before county Judge David W. Lupas began on Tuesday, and the case went to the jury at noon on Wednesday. They delivered their verdict at 1:50 p.m.

In addition to the primary charge, Ovalles also was convicted of aggravated assault, firearms not to be carried without a license and terroristic threats.

Ovalles’ bail in the Kubiak case was revoked, and Phillips said the commonwealth will seek forfeiture. He remains held in the county prison without bail in the alleged homicide case.

Ovalles faces an open count of criminal homicide in the July 7 death of Vaughn Kemp, 24, outside 174 S. Grant St. Witnesses have said they saw Ovalles fire shots into the air. That case is scheduled to go to trial June 9 before President Judge Thomas F. Burke Jr., Phillips said.

He also is facing drug charges.

Sentencing in the Kubiak case is set for July 1.