Man accused in shooting pleads no contest, sentenced to 6 years in prison
A man who was charged in connection with what was first called an apparent gang-related shooting in Placer County has reached a plea deal with prosecutors, and been sentenced to six years in state prison, according to attorneys involved in the case.
Samuel Reyes Navarro, 27, of Incline Village, entered a no contest plea last month to a felony charge of assault with a firearm along with a special allegation of committing a felony while armed with a firearm. As a part of Navarro’s plea deal, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to drop four other felony charges he was facing, including one count of attempted murder, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Lisa Botwinik said.
The charges stemmed from an incident on June 20 in Kings Beach, where Navarro reportedly fired several shots at another man before fleeing, according to witnesses. Navarro is a known gang member and the shooting appears to have been motivated by gang rivalries, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office has said.
Navarro faces no charges in connection with alleged gang membership.
Botwinik did not comment on the gang-related aspects of the case but simply said that Navarro’s sentence was commensurate with what her office was seeking based on his alleged crimes.
“The Placer County District Attorney’s Office believes this is a just plea and sentence given the facts and evidence in the case,” she said. “The defendant committed a dangerous assault with a firearm and a prison sentence is warranted.”
Navarro had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges before later altering his plea in the deal reached with prosecutors. His defense attorney, Placer County Public Defender Dan Koukol, could not be reached for comment.
Navarro was originally arrested on June 21 in Placer County after having fled from the scene of the shooting the previous day, reports state.
Witnesses told investigators that the incident started when Navarro, who was in his vehicle at the time, slowed down next to another man, who authorities believe may also be gang-affiliated. The two men apparently had a heated verbal altercation that ended when Navarro pulled a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and fired the weapon several times directly above the victim’s head, witnesses said.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was uninjured.
Based on reports of the words exchanged between Navarro and this other man, police said that the shooting appears to have at least in part related to a longstanding rivalry between the Sureños, a Hispanic gang primarily active in Southern California, and the rival Norteños gang, which is largely based in northern half of the state.
When questioned, Navarro admitted to having at one time been a part of the Sureños gang, although he denied active involvement, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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