Granite Falls man re-sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in 2005 drive-by shooting
WILLMAR -- Jose Armando Padilla was re-sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison for his role in two July 2005 drive-by shootings in Willmar. Padilla, 27, of Granite Falls, was sentenced again in Kandiyohi County District Court because the state a...
WILLMAR -- Jose Armando Padilla was re-sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison for his role in two July 2005 drive-by shootings in Willmar.
Padilla, 27, of Granite Falls, was sentenced again in Kandiyohi County District Court because the state appeals court reversed his December 2005 conviction for attempted second-degree murder by drive-by shooting.
The case was remanded back to District Co-urt for re-sentencing on three other charges -- two drive-by shooting convictions and one first-degree as-sault conviction.
Padilla was convicted of those charges in the jury trial, but was not sentenced at the time.The judge also re-sentenced Padilla on a fourth conviction Thursday.
The appeals court decision, released as an unpublished opinion in June, agreed with Padilla's appeal that there is no such crime as attempted second-degree murder by drive-by shooting because "the recklessness described in the drive-by shooting statute is a mental state inconsistent with the specific intent required for an attempt."
After handing down the new sentences, Judge Donald M. Spilseth told Padilla he was getting a "justly deserved" sentence. The new sentence includes consecutive sentences -- meaning they will be served one after another -- of 166 months for first-degree assault and 52 months for drive-by shooting of an occupied home.
Padilla was also ordered to pay restitution of $21,147.57 to the owners of the two homes, an insurance company and the state reparations board.
The consecutive sentences, with no credit for time already served on the 52-month sentence, was in order, Spilseth said, because Padilla's actions resulted in severe injury and could have killed as many as eight people.
"He did fire numerous shots into two homes," the judge said. "It is indeed a miracle that only one person was injured."
The woman injured in the July 22, 2005, shooting, Dalia Sonora, told the court that she has lost feeling in her right arm and hand because of her injuries. She was shot in the hand and chest during the incident. Sonora was one of eight people -- four adults and four children -- who were in the home at 1410 Gorton Ave. N.W., when Padilla and three others fired upon it with a 30-06 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.
The group also fired upon the unoccupied Regency Estates West trailer owned by Ruben Ybarra. The men had argued at a house party and Padilla had threatened to kill Ybarra and his family. Ybarra's response was to move his family to his father-in-law's home on Gorton Avenue.
"He terrorized our house," she said. "He deserves all the time he gets."
During the sentencing hearing, First Assistant County Attorney Connie Crowell argued for four consecutive sentences. "The defendant deserves every day he sits in prison," she said. "Many, many people were at risk. There were multiple potential victims."
Padilla and his public defender, Greta Smolnisky, sought a continuance because they said they had not had enough time to prepare and also asked the judge to remove himself from the sentencing, because Spilseth was "unduly biased" by the previous sentencing and the jury trial. Spilseth called a 35-minute recess to allow more time to the defendant.
Smolnisky also argued that the sentence should be served concurrently -- meaning all at the same time -- because the shootings were one behavior incident.
"He shouldn't be unfairly punished for multiple incidents," she argued.
Padilla also argued that the prosecutor was biased and that the jury was biased. "I was in shackles during my trial and that biased the jury," he said.
After the sentencing, Crowell said the sentence was "a push," or about the same as the 213-month sentence that Padilla received in 2005 for the shooting at the Gorton Avenue home. At that time, he was sentenced to 153 months for shooting at the trailer and 27 months for receiving stolen property, a gun used in the crime.
The final result of Thursday's sentencing is a new sentence on four charges.
Spilseth on Thursday resentenced Padilla to the same sentence as was handed down in 2005 for receiving stolen property, a total of 27 months, with credit for 871 days already served, plus a $50 fine and court fees. That sentence is served concurrently with the others.
The 166-month sentence for the first-degree assault conviction will be served concurrently with a sentence of 36 months for shooting at the unoccupied home. Padilla received credit for 871 days already served.
The 52-month sentence for the drive-by shooting of the occupied home will be served consecutively, with no credit for time already served.