Willmar man charged with attempted murder in 2021 shooting sentenced to 58 months for burglary
Jomar Luis Saenz, 22, of Willmar, was sentenced Oct. 28 to concurrent prison terms of 58 months in a Willmar shooting in August of 2021 and 36 months in a separate incident earlier the same night. Saenz entered an Alford guilty plea to first-degree burglary and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. Other charges, including attempted murder, were dismissed. Saenz's expected release date is Nov. 4, 2024.
WILLMAR — A 22-year-old Willmar man originally charged with attempted murder for shooting a man after being asked to leave a southeast Willmar home was sentenced to 58 months in prison for burglary.
Jomar Luis Saenz was sentenced Oct. 28 in Kandiyohi County District Court on a charge of first-degree burglary — assault of a person on the property.
The charge stemmed from an incident in the summer of 2021 when Saenz allegedly shot a man inside a Willmar residence at point-blank range after being asked to leave a social gathering at the home.
Saenz was also given a 36-month sentence for one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in the second degree, stemming from a separate incident earlier the same day when a man was threatened with a gun in the aisle of a liquor store. That sentence is concurrent with the 58-month sentence.
Four other charges in the case, including first-degree assault and second-degree attempted murder, were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Saenz entered an Alford plea of guilty on Sept. 27, 2022. A defendant who enters an Alford plea does not admit guilt but agrees that the prosecution appears to have enough evidence to win a conviction at trial. The plea is treated like any other guilty plea at sentencing.
Judge David Mennis gave Saenz credit for 439 days already served.
Under Minnesota law, offenders are required to serve at least two-thirds of a sentence in custody and may be allowed to serve the remaining time on supervised release.
According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections website, Saenz's expected release date from Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud is Nov. 4, 2024.
According to the criminal complaint, Willmar police responded to a report around 11:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 2021, of a man being shot at a residence in the 200 block of Becker Avenue Southeast.
Officers found a man who had been shot sitting on the couch in the living room. The man had blood running down from his upper chest and neck area. An officer tended to him with a medical kit before he was transported to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.
The woman who lived at the home told police that she and her husband were having a social gathering when Saenz allegedly shot her husband after a verbal altercation.
According to the complaint, the couple asked Saenz and his friend, Gerome Anthony Patino, to leave because they were too intoxicated. Both men became very upset and hostile.
The altercation got physical near the front door when Patino ran inside and allegedly began assaulting the wife before Saenz ran back inside the house and allegedly shot the husband. Saenz and Patino then ran outside and left.
At 11:54 p.m. the same night, a caller reported having a gun held to his head earlier that night at West Side Liquor in Willmar.
According to the complaint, the caller told the officer that while he and a friend were at the store around 9:30 p.m., two males had confronted them in one of the aisles and one had pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at his head.
Patino was later identified as the man who had pointed the gun, and Saenz was with him.
Patino was convicted of felony second-degree assault for pointing the gun at the liquor store customer and felony threats of violence related to the shooting at the residence.
He is currently serving concurrent prison sentences of 36 months and 21 months. His expected release date from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater is Aug. 21, 2023, according to the state Department of Corrections.