A judge sentenced an alleged Norteño gang member to 32 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to pistol- whipping his neighbor, a 67-year-old grandmother.
David Montalbo, 22, of Modesto demanded money from the woman while assaulting her and her grandson, yelling gang slogans and eventually firing a shot in the air, Deputy District Attorney Tom Brennan said Friday.
Judge Ricardo Córdova denied Montalbo's request to withdraw his guilty plea and delay his sentencing.
In a probation report, Montalbo denied being a gang member, Brennan said.
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But in court, the man bound his hair with five rubber bands, which is commonly associated with adding the numbers 1 and 4, which represent the Norteño gang, Brennan said.
"He's banging right now in front of you," Brennan recalled telling Córdova.
Montalbo must serve at least 27 years of his prison sentence for attempted robbery, discharging a firearm, assault with a firearm and committing a crime to benefit the Norteño street gang, Brennan said.
Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2337.