Christopher Ayala

KINGMAN – Two men charged with the armed robbery of a Kingman bank made separate local court appearances on Friday, May 10. Mario Fragassi, 53, Golden Valley, and Christopher Ayala, 49, California, are held in the Adult Detention Center awaiting trial.

Mario Fragassi

Authorities allege Fragassi robbed the Hualapai Mountain Road branch of Mission Bank on Feb. 26 before hopping in the getaway vehicle driven by Ayala. They reportedly drove to the Napa Auto Parts store in the 2500 block of Andy Devine Ave., where Fragassi was wounded in a gunfire exchange with Kingman police, while Ayala was able to call a cab to flee before he was arrested the next day.

Fragassi’s hearing was continued to May 16 to provide time for defense counsel to explore whether Mohave County Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle might have a conflict in presiding over his case since Carlisle apparently prosecuted Fragassi in 1995.

Defense attorney Greg McPhillips informed Carlisle that Ayala is rejecting the state’s plea offer and intends to take his case to trial. Carlisle informed the defendant that 85 years in prison would be his maximum punishment if convicted at trial, enhanced by prior felony convictions and other factors.

Judge Carlisle and attorneys agreed to begin jury selection for Ayala’s five-day trial on Oct. 21.

Dave Hawkins