2/5/2021 10:43:00 AM I-35 drive by
shooting suspect gets maximum sentence
The district court in Center City held a remote hearing Monday morning this week to send Trinidad Garcia, 28, of Forest Lake, to prison. He was sentenced to 120 months as the maximum for a drive-by freeway shooting and concurrent 60 months, for illegally possessing a firearm. A third count of second degree assault was deemed to be a lesser offense and was not considered at this time in the judge’s pronouncement of sentence.
He is incarcerated for a minimum of two thirds of the 10 years— and with good behavior could be placed in supervised probation the remaining third. He was immediately remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections.
Garcia has credit for spending 705 days in jail already.
The first day of March 2020 Garcia was heading northbound in a passenger car on I-35 near Wyoming.
He passed a pickup truck along the right and shot at the truck’s passenger door. The truck driver notified authorities and State Patrol and Wyoming Police located Garcia soon after, as he had put his car in a ditch.
The bullet never reached the truck driver, who did not provide an impact statement at the sentencing. The Wyoming Police Officer testifed however, that the truck driver was shaken and shocked to such a degree, that he asked her to check him out to make sure the bullet hadn’t pierced him somewhere.
The requested restitution was for the $500 insurance deductible, which was ordered to be taken out of prison industry earnings by as part of sentencing. Garcia’s court fine is $250.
Prosecutor David Hemming noted that the maximum in sentencing which he argued for successfully; was warranted by the fact that Garcia could have seriously hurt or killed the driver, had the bullet not “disintegrated” in the passenger door. He observed that the pickup driver had done nothing to provoke Garcia to discharge the nine millimeter handgun, that law enforcement found in Garcia’s pocket, according to the report from the scene.
Hemming also noted that Garcia wasn’t simply “in possession” illegally but had used the gun.
Garcia’s prior convictions for assault also played a role in the 120 months’ sentence. He has assault convictions from 2012 and 2017 incidents. Judge Bollman said the court agreed he was a danger to public safety as declared by the jury.