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Healdsburg gang member sentenced to 6 years in shooting

A Healdsburg gang member was sentenced Tuesday to six years in state prison for an assault on a rival gang member with a semi-automatic handgun.

After the shooting in September, David Barragan Botello, 20, was sentenced to probation with a six-year suspended prison sentence after entering a “no-contest“ plea to a felony charge of assault. The district attorney’s office recommended he be sent to prison for six years; however, the court opted to place him on probation.

After his release, he violated the terms of his probation on two occasions, according to Sonoma County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell in a news release.

“The court offered Botello a chance on probation in order to reform his life,” Staebell wrote, but violation of his probation terms resulted in “the imposition of the previously suspended six-year prison sentence.”

The charges resulted from a violent confrontation in Healdsburg near the intersection of Titch and Mason streets on Sept. 29, 2020. Botello was driving a car with other gang members when they encountered a rival gang member. Botello turned the car around so that his passenger, Isaiah Torres, could shoot at the man. Torres fired 10 rounds at the victim as the victim fled. Botello chased the rival gang member with his car as Torres fired from the back seat. No one was injured. All participants were eventually found and arrested, according to the release.

Although the maximum sentence for assault with a semi-automatic handgun is nine years, because of Botello’s young age and the fact that he was not the actual shooter, the district attorney’s office argued for the lesser prison term. Within three weeks of his release, Botello violated the terms of his probation by drinking alcohol, associating with known gang members and attempting to destroy evidence. He admitted the violations and asked for another change on probation, which Judge Shelly Averill refused, Staebell said.

The shooter, Torres, also of Healdsburg, previously pleaded no contest to assault with a semi-automatic handgun and admitted to a separate gun enhancement. He was sentenced on March 25 to 10 years in state prison.

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at kathleen.coates@pressdemocrat.com.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to say that the district attorney’s office recommended that Botello be sent to prison for six years, but the court placed him on probation.

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