A suspect in a 2007 shooting that left a Turlock teenager paralyzed received a prison sentence of 15 years and eight months after pleading guilty.
Marco Antonio Moreno-Robles, 26, of Modesto pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted murder and being an accessory in the April 30, 2007, incident. Moreno-Robles also admitted the crime was committed for the benefit of the Sureño criminal street gang, prosecutors said.
Moreno-Robles was present when Sureño gang members hatched a plan to kill a rival Norteño gang member as retaliation for a previous shooting in Ceres, then drove the shooter and two other gang members from Modesto to Turlock, looking for a target.
Eric Carrillo, 17, was talking on a cell phone to his girlfriend when he was shot in front of Wakefield Elementary School, just a block from his house on South Avenue. Carrillo, who is not a gang member, was wearing a red Atlanta Falcons jersey.
Carrillo attended Moreno-Robles' hearing in Stanislaus County Superior Court, according to a news release from District Attorney Birgit Fladager. In a wheelchair, he said he forgave Moreno-Robles, and advised him to make better choices in his life.
"Eric Carrillo has channeled an inner sense of peace that most of us can only dream of," prosecutor Tom Brennan said. "Forgiving one of the gangster thugs who are responsible in part for his present condition is simply amazing. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Eric and his supporting family."
As for Moreno-Robles, "He will have many years to contemplate how bad choices have destroyed his life," Brennan said. "If he survives prison, I will be waiting for him should he choose to remain in the gangster lifestyle."
No trial date has been set for the alleged shooter, Luis Manuel Tafolla, now 21. He remains in custody without bail at Stanislaus County Jail.