Man in teen's death faces forgery counts - East Valley Tribune: News

Man in teen's death faces forgery counts

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Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 5:02 pm | Updated: 12:58 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A man in jail facing a manslaughter charge in the death of a Mesa teen was indicted earlier this month on three counts of felony forgery.

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A man in jail facing a manslaughter charge in the death of a Mesa teen was indicted earlier this month on three counts of felony forgery.

Gilbert bands join together to help Tracy family

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Manuel Contreras-Galdean is awaiting trial in the November 2008 death of Kelly Tracy, who was a student at Gilbert's Highland High School.

Manuel Contreras-Galdean

After his arrest, a deputy went to Contreras-Galdean's Apache Junction workplace, SAK-Electric and Plumbing, 56 S. Meridian Road, to investigate Contreras-Galdean's background. That visit led to Contreras-Galdean's brother, Leonel Contreras-Galdean, 30, being arrested on suspicion of forgery and identity theft. Two others were also arrested.

On June 4, a Maricopa County grand jury charged Manuel Contreras-Galdean with three forgery counts - from October 2003, November 2004 and September 2007. Two of the charges are related to verification-of-employment forms. The third charge is related to Arizona's employee withholding form.

If found guilty, Manuel Contreras-Galdean could face probation or between one and two and a half years in jail for each felony forgery count.

Manuel Contreras-Galdean has admitted to being an illegal immigrant who once voluntarily returned to Mexico after being picked up by authorities following a traffic stop in New Mexico.

According to court records, he pleaded not guilty to the forgery charges on June 15.

He has also pleaded not guilty to the aggravated assault and manslaughter charges he faces from the Nov. 15 crash in Mesa that killed Highland band member Kelly Tracy and injured her brother, Matt.

Mesa police say Manuel Contreras-Galdean was impaired by alcohol when he failed to yield as he was making a left turn at the intersection of Sossaman and Guadalupe roads.

According to court records, the manslaughter and aggravated assault trial is expected to start in October. Court records state that he was offered a plea bargain for 101/2 years in jail. The plea bargain is set to expire at the end of July.

He could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted of manslaughter.

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