By Linwood Outlaw III -- email@example.com
FRONT ROYAL -- A man charged in connection with a confrontation that left a 17-year-old boy shot last year must serve six years in prison, the same sentence given to two other co-defendants in the case, a Warren County Circuit Court judge has ruled.
Freddy Orlando Lazo-Torres, 22, address unknown, appeared before Judge Dennis L. Hupp for sentencing on Monday morning. His attorney, Michael M. Fleming, previously asked Hupp at a July 6 court hearing to delay the matter so that he could have more time to review the pre-sentence report with his client. Lazo-Torres was found guilty after a bench trial in May of maliciously wounding Marcus Alejandro Ruiz Lopez while being a member of a mob and using a firearm in commission of a felony.
Lazo-Torres and two other men, Carlos Gonzales Perez, 23, address unknown, and Jose Luis Castillo, 23, of 1700 Roberts St., Apt. 6, Winchester, were each indicted in January on the same charges stemming from the Sept. 23 shooting at 347 Osage St. Lazo-Torres pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment on Feb. 2.
Commonwealth's Attorney Brian M. Madden told Hupp that prosecutors were not seeking a more severe sentence for the defendant than those given to Castillo and Perez, who have each been sentenced to six years in prison.
Fleming, meanwhile, told Hupp he was hoping for a "slightly lower sentence," particularly because Lazo-Torres cooperated with police during their investigation. Lazo-Torres also was not the gunman, and testimony given by the shooting victim indicated that he and Perez were running away from the scene before any shots were fired, Fleming said.
Hupp, however, had maintained throughout proceedings that he intended to sentence each of the defendants equally. He lived up to his word on Monday, sentencing Lazo-Torres to 20 years in prison for the malicious wounding by mob charge and suspending 17 years from the term.
The judge also gave Lazo-Torres a mandatory three-year sentence for the firearm charge. Lazo-Torres also must serve 10 years probation after his release, half of which is to be supervised. All three men also are jointly responsible for paying $23,611 in restitution. Through his interpreter, Lazo-Torres declined to make any statement before being sentenced.
According to court documents, the men arrived at the residence at around 1:43 a.m. on Sept. 23. Perez and Lazo-Torres admitted during their interviews with police that they had planned, along with Castillo, to go to Osage Street to confront some residents, the criminal complaint states. The men were seeking the whereabouts of a girl, according to prosecutors.
All three suspects had gloves on as they approached the residence. Castillo, according to court records, pulled out a gun and shot Lopez twice, once in the left pelvis and once in the right groin. Castillo said he shot the boy in self-defense. The shooting victim reportedly approached the men with a stick during the confrontation.
Lazo-Torres is being held in the Warren County Jail.