Scene on June 12 in North Park following confrontation in which a woman was shot in the back. One man is being held in the case. Photo credit:

A man who allegedly shot a 62-year-old North Park woman in the back last week after making a failed attempt to rob her in an alley near her home pleaded not guilty Thursday to five charges, including attempted murder.

Kenneth Ozua, 37, was ordered held on $1 million bail.

Thanks to a partial license plate number, police were able to identify the defendant and he was arrested Monday as he tried to come back into the U.S. from Mexico with his brother, according to Deputy District Attorney Melissa Vasel.

The prosecutor said at about 1:30 p.m. June 12 the victim was picking up her 90-year-old mother to take her to the dentist.

When the victim was putting something in the trunk, the defendant allegedly pulled up with his wife in their Chevrolet TrailBlazer and asked for directions.

As the victim went back to her car, Ozua pointed a 9mm gun at her, demanding her purse, the prosecutor said.

The scared victim ran, and Ozua shot her in the back then drove off, Vasel said.

Vasel said the victim underwent surgery and is recovering.

Ozua also is charged with assault with a firearm, attempted robbery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He faces 48 years to life in prison if convicted.

Ozua’s wife, Mariela, 38, remained at large. Anyone with information on her whereabouts was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or online. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

A preliminary hearing is set for July 2.

– City News Service