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Sacred Heart man to be resentenced for shooting at Clara City police chief during high-speed chase

WILLMAR -- The man sentenced to 22 years in prison for shooting at the Clara City police chief during a September 2005 high-speed chase to Willmar will be resentenced, likely to less time behind bars, on Nov. 6 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

In an order dated Sept. 29, Judge Kathryn N. Smith granted the petition for post-conviction relief made by attorneys for Enrique Villareal Jr., 26, of Sacred Heart.

The ju-dge or-dered that the sentence im-posed for a felony charge of receiving stolen property, a firearm, be vacated.

The vacation takes away the criminal history score attached to that conviction and gives Villareal a criminal history score of zero on his sentence on the attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer for shooting at the Clara City officer.

A criminal history score is used in the state's sentencing guidelines to determine a range of sentences for an offense.

In August 2006, Villareal was sentenced to 228 months on the attempted first-degree murder charge.

The sentence was to be served consecutively to 36 months on a second-degree charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. He was also sentenced to a year and a day on the receiving stolen property charge.

In the order, Smith notes that the presumptive range on the first-degree attempted murder charge, with a criminal history score of zero, is 153 to 216 months in prison.

The charges were filed after a Sept. 14, 2005, incident in which Villareal and Oscar Flores, 27, of Renville stole a pickup in Clara City and led authorities on a chase, during which Villareal shot at Clara City Police Chief Ralph Bradley's police car. Three of the shots hit the vehicle.

The chase ended in Willmar. However, when Villareal exited the truck, he pointed a rifle at Bradley and Willmar Police Sgt. Glen Negen. Several officers fired at Villareal, who fled on foot. He was apprehended around 5 p.m. in Sioux Falls, S.D., after he was spotted on a commercial bus. Flores was arrested shortly after the chase.

Flores was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the attempted murder charge and for receiving stolen property.