By Cathy Locke
A Woodland man, identified as a member of the Norteno Criminal Street Gang, has been sentenced to 38 years and 8 months to life in state prison after being convicted of robbery, assault with a firearm and attempting to dissuade a witness.
Anthony Vasquez, 22, was sentenced by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall on Friday.
On May 5, 2008, Vasquez arranged to buy marijuana from the victim, according to an Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.
When the victim arrived to make the sale, Vasquez got into the back of the victim's car. When the victim began to show him the marijuana, Vasquez grabbed the marijuana and shot the victim in the chest from the back seat.
Vasquez then returned to a party he had been attending earlier. The victim underwent hours of surgery to repair damage from the bullet that pierced his lung, the news release says.
Authorities located Vasquez six months later hiding in a local hotel room.
On July 4, 2009, days before a scheduled preliminary hearing in the case, a correctional officer at the jail found a letter written by Vasquez. The letter was smuggled out of jail by an inmate who was being released from custody.
In the letter Vasquez admitted shooting the victim and asked that some of his "homies" let witnesses know that they should not attend his trial and that they should say he was not present at the time of the shooting, the news release says.
The jury found Vasquez guilty of robbery with intentional use and discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury, assault with a firearm causing great bodily injury and attempting to dissuade a witness. The jury also found that the crimes we committed for benefit of a criminal street gang.
Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.