Courtroom gavel
A courtroom gavel. File photo

A young man pleaded guilty Tuesday to three felony counts for his involvement in a gang-related shooting that wounded a passerby.

Jesse Hernandez, 19, and a 17-year-old juvenile – the suspected shooter – were arrested in Escondido Sept. 17, 2020, about a month after the incident, in Indio.

Hernandez was charged with three felony counts – being an accessory in a felony to escape arrest/trial, being a person under 30 in possession of a firearm and criminal street gang activity.

He pleaded guilty to all three charges Tuesday and was immediately sentenced to four years in prison, according to the District Attorney’s office.

The teen detained with Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of firing the shots and was expected to be charged with attempted murder. His name and further information were not released due to his age at the time of the shooting.

On Aug. 19, 2020, at about 8:30 a.m., a married couple driving past a market heard somebody yelling, according to Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron.

They stopped their vehicle in front of the market before shots rang out, when some bullets struck the couple’s vehicle. One hit the woman in the passenger seat. She was rushed to an area hospital by an Indio Fire/Cal-Fire ambulance and survived.

Guitron said the shooting was thought to be gang-related and involved people who “have been involved in other shootings in the area.”

Another suspect, Monica Arriaga, 23, admitted to one count of being an accessory for helping the juvenile escape and was immediately sentenced to two years probation. Her probation ended March 18, 2021.

City News Service



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Ellen Bullock