|12/28/2020 10:25:00 AM|
Sentencing set for February 1 for freeway shooting in March 2019
A man who shot at a vehicle on I-35 in March 2019 was found guilty December 16, by a jury, of felony assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon, of possessing a firearm illegally and guilty of a drive-by shooting towards a person, vehicle or building. In total the three felony counts carry a maximum of 22 years.
The trial of Trinidad Jesus Garcia, 28, of Forest Lake was held in Center City under COVID-19 state court guidelines. The courts were allowed to finish trials that were underway as of late November and early December, but no new jury trials will be allowed before February 1. There can be special exceptions.
District Court Judge Bollman will sentence Garcia February 1. The prosecution seeks an upward departure in sentencing citing aggravating factors showing that Garcia was a “dangerous offender” based on his age and previous conviction record.
Garcia was driving a passenger car northbound on I-35 in the Wyoming area, March 27 in 2019.
It was about 2 p.m. when he shot at a passing pickup truck. Moments later Garcia’s car went into a ditch and a state patrol trooper positioned nearby responded. About the same time, dispatch got a call from a pickup driver that his vehicle was shot, and described his assailant’s car whch matched Garcia’s.
Wyoming Police arrived to assist the patrol at the scene and Garcia was apprehended. A nine millimeter gun was recovered on his person. The authorities also seized several thousand dollars in cash. The court is yet to rule on who gets to retain this money in civil court.
The 43-year-old pickup driver, who had pulled over to cooperate with authorities, was unhurt. A bullet hole was in his passenger door.