- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho man involved in a shooting that injured a 10-year-old girl struck by a stray bullet has been sentenced to at least seven years in prison.

Ezri Garcia, 22, was sentenced on Tuesday to serve at least seven years in prison. Garcia will be eligible for parole after seven years but could spend up to 12 more years in prison for aggravated battery, reported The Idaho Press-Tribune (https://bit.ly/2m7OO84). He was also sentenced to up to 10 years on a felony riot charge, which will run concurrently with the other sentence.

Garcia pleaded guilty in November.

Garcia and Mario Garza were charged after a June 29 shootout at a Nampa Walmart near where families had gathered to watch a fireworks show as part of a festival. According to court documents, Garza pulled out a gun and the two men exchanged fire.

According to court documents, the 10-year-old was twirling in a nearby grass area when a stray bullet struck her in the shoulder. Surgeons were unable to remove the bullet due to possible nerve damage.

“She will always remember that day, both emotionally and physically,” the victim’s mother said during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing. “You’re lucky this isn’t a murder trial.”

Garcia said he was attending the festival with his family before the altercation and that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Nobody should’ve gotten hurt that day,” Garcia said during the hearing.

Garza, 19, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, rioting and the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony in November. He is set to be sentenced Feb. 27.


Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, https://www.idahopress.com

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