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Willmar man gets 58 months for burglary in cop shooting case

WILLMAR -- Jesus Trevino, 33, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to 58 months in prison on a first-degree burglary charge for his role in the home invasions last fall that led to shots being fired at Willmar police officers.

Before he was sentenced in Kandiyohi County District Court, Trevino pleaded with District Judge Michael J. Thompson for leniency. He asked for the minimum amount of prison time and for the opportunity to redeem himself.

"I know the Lord holds my life in his hands," Trevino said, his voice breaking with emotion.

"But he has empowered you to do what's right."

Thompson responded by sentencing Trevino according to his plea agreement, a 58-month sentence, at the middle of the 50- to 69-month range allowed by state sentencing guidelines. He noted the seriousness of the crime, a home invasion where a firearm was used to intimidate a group of people and assault a man.

"This is a terrible crime ... people believe their home to be a safe place," the judge said.

Trevino was given credit for 194 days already served in jail and ordered to pay a $50 fine and court fees with his prison earnings.

Thompson also included a recommendation, at Trevino's request, that the Department of Corrections take necessary steps to protect Trevino in prison from his co-defendants in the case, Leroy Diaz Evans, 26, and Arcadio Salinas Jr., 23, and also from Joshua Diaz, 29, the brother of Diaz Evans. The three have been involved in threatening behavior toward Trevino, the judge noted on the record.

A Kandiyohi County jury found Diaz Evans guilty March 14 of eight of the nine felony charges against him. He was acquitted of the most serious charge, first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer, but was found guilty of use of deadly force against a peace officer and seven first-degree burglary and aggravated robbery charges. The jury also determined that Diaz Evans is a danger to public safety, an aggravated factor in his sentencing. He will be sentenced May 5.

Salinas was sentenced March 7 to 34 months in prison and a $1,000 fine. The sentence was for a felony charge of aiding and abetting first-degree attempted robbery for his role in the incident.

Joshua Diaz is serving 16½ years in prison on an assault charge in the murder of Nathan Hoseck, 22, in 2002. Diaz Evans received a stayed sentence for his involvement in that case, but served 39 months in prison for shooting at a man during a domestic incident in Granite Falls in May 2004.

Trevino testified against Diaz Evans during his trial. He repeatedly stated he would not name who went with him into a home during the burglary incidents and would not name who fired shots at a Willmar police officer Sept. 15 in the Subway restaurant parking lot. Trevino said on the stand that he feared for his safety because Diaz Evans was a gang member.

Diaz Evans took the stand during his trial and admitted that he fired the shots at the officer. One of the bullets hit the squad car and several others struck a nearby home. No one was hurt.

He claimed duress and that he was afraid he would be killed if he did not comply with Trevino's expectations to get money from a man and shoot at the officer.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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