Man charged with gang shooting wins reduced sentence

Photo credit: Sean Martens

Photo credit: Sean Martens

A Chico man’s nine-year sentence was reduced to five years of probation, after a judge decided he would not survive prison, this week.

Eduardo Hurtado, 19, entered a plea bargain of no contest to charges of assault with a semi-automatic firearm in a shooting incident. The incident, reported by police to be gang-related. occurred January of last year at an intersection near West Sacramento Avenue and Columbus Street.

Hurtado won a reduction to five years in suspension, after the judge reportedly decided his stature was too small for a prison sentence.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the prosecution disagreed with the decision to suspend the sentence for a number of reasons. “The sentence was based on a very serious crime, where he, with two other gang members, shot-up and injured two rival gang members,” Ramsey said.

The DA also found it personally troubling that the judge, Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman, reportedly told the defendant, “If you were six-foot, 200 pounds I would probably be sending you to prison.”

According to Ramsey, the judge then said that Hurtado would quickly die in prison because of his small stature and ex-gang relations. This was the first case the DA knew of where a sentence was suspended because of the size of a defendant.

“It’s entirely inappropriate and also a myth,” Ramsey said. “We have a special-needs yard for gang dropouts.”

He said that the Department of Corrections and the Probation Department agreed that prison would have been the appropriate sentence.

Josh Cozine can be reached at [email protected] or @joshcozine on Twitter.