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Plea Deal in Works for Nazareth Man Accused of Shooting at Sister-in-Law

Damian Zamora, 25, of Nazareth waives his right to a preliminary hearing Monday; a plea deal is anticipated for Zamora, who allegedly fired a semi-automatic pistol at his sister-in-law.

A plea deal is anticipated for a Nazareth man accused of firing -- five rounds in all -- a semi-automatic pistol at his sister-in-law.

Damian Zamora, 25, of 17 N. Main St., waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday in front of District Judge John Capobianco.

According to Christopher M. Shipman, the public defender representing Zamora, his client plans to plead guilty in Northampton County Court to charges of recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and terroristic threats – cause serious public inconvenience.

In exchange, Shipman added, a charge of possessing instruments of crime will be withdrawn at the county court level. 

Around 2 a.m. Aug. 30, according to a police criminal complaint, Officer Daniel Troxell was dispatched to 17 N. Main St. for a report of shots fired.

Kristen Mertz, who is the sister of Zamora’s wife, told police that soon after she pulled into the driveway of her home at 17 N. Main St., Zamora jumped out from behind the house, pulled a pistol from his waistband, and fired five rounds from a Taurus .380 semi-automatic pistol.

Zamora fired the five rounds into the ground near Mertz’s car, according to court records.

Earlier in the night, according to court records, a “highly intoxicated” Zamora allegedly flashed the firearm at the American Hotel. Zamora’s wife, Mary, told Troxell she was with her husband at the bar. After the two argued, however, she left.

Zamora wasn't charged until Oct. 5, according to court records. It is unclear why there was a delay.

Zamora remains in Northampton County Prison in lieu of 10 percent of $35,000 bail. His formal arraignment in Northampton County Court is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 10.

Mertz, who also has an address in Upper Nazareth Township, was charged on Oct. 2 for purchasing the firearm -- with Zamora present -- at Cabela's in Hamburg. Zamora was convicted of a felony in New Jersey, court records say, and is barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Mertz told police Zamora was holding onto the gun until Mertz's husband left for work. Troxell, however, found through his investigation that Zamora possessed the firearm since its purchase Aug. 25.

A police criminal complaint for Mertz's charge describes the firearm as a Ruger .380 semi-automatic pistol, while the complaint for Zamora describes it as a Taurus .380 semi-automatic pistol.

The firearm was recovered from Mertz's vehicle a few days after the Aug. 30 incident, court records say. Zamora, who wasn't immediately charged, gave the firearm back to Mertz the night he allegedly shot at her.

Mertz was committed on Oct. 11 to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $35,000 bail. Her bail was reduced four days later, and she was released on $30,000 unsecured bail.

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