Teen pleads guilty for role in shooting, gang beating

Teen pleads guilty for role in shooting, gang beating
Previous coverage:

Shooter sentenced to 12 years
Emotional hearing in AK-47 case

Gang member sentenced to four years
Martinez enflamed dispute that ended with shooting

Indio Martinez—the last member of a group of young men responsible for a random shooting a year ago—has had his guilty plea accepted by Judge Edward Hogshire. On March 2, 2007, Martinez was with Javier Garcia when Garcia stepped out of a white Jeep with an AK-47 and sprayed it indiscriminately into a crowd gathered outside Blue Ridge Commons. One 16-year-old was struck in the back while running away and nearly died. For that, Garcia was sentenced March 5 to 12 years in prison. Martinez’s older brother Pee Wee also received four years in February for his involvement in the violent episode.

Indio’s matter is a little more complicated, as he is facing sentencing for his presence at that incident as well as for an assault on April 21, 2006, off the Downtown Mall. According to Patrick Dorgan of the state Attorney General’s office, Indio was part of a larger group that approached two others with a request. Would they like to join the Bloods gang? When the two responded in the negative, they were pummeled, with one having his jaw broken.

Indio Martinez faces between four and six years for his role in a 2006 teen beating and a 2007 AK-47 shooting.

After his guilty plea, Indio’s multiple charges were whittled to four, including malicious wounding and gang recruitment, which stem from both incidents. His accepted plea suggests a possible sentencing range roughly between four and six years, which Hogshire made very clear does not bind him. An earlier plea was rejected by Judge Paul Peatross because of sentencing limits.

“What in the world were these kids doing with an AK-47?” the judge wondered out loud, echoing his comments at Garcia’s earlier sentencing. No one seemed to know.

Indio stood with his hands cuffed and head bowed. A scar ran across the back of his neck. “The gun was recovered and is off the streets,” said Dorgan. Pamela Johnson, Indio’s attorney, made the point that her client was not the instigator of the March incident.

“That is some consolation,” Hogshire agreed. He will sentence Martinez on June 17.

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