PALMDALE – Jaime Alberto Espinoza (23) received 101 years-to-life in state prison for a noon-time gang related car-to-car shooting that paralyzed an innocent 16-year-old girl.
L. A. County District Attorney’s Deputy Thomas Trainor of the Hardcore Gang Division announced Tuesday night that the jury found Espinoza (d.o.b. 1/4/94) guilty on September 19, 2016 (case # MA064981), of one count each of attempted premeditated murder, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, and five counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
D. A. Deputy Trainor said the jury also found that Espinoza had inflicted great bodily injury, used a handgun and committed the crimes in affiliation with a criminal street gang.
The unidentified victim received extremely critical injury while shot in the head as a front-seat passenger after an argument spurred the shooter into action as he approached a car and took aim at the driver.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
On December 19, 2014, Espinoza argued with two individuals on a street near Palmdale High School before the two got into a car with three other victims, two of which were high school students, the prosecutor said. According to trial testimony, Espinoza then flagged down Fernando Albarran (dob 5/21/93), got into his car and followed the vehicle with the two individuals and three others aboard.
As the victim’s car stopped to drop off two individuals at their house on the 37800 block of Melton Avenue, the defendant drove up alongside and fired one shot into the car striking the driver on the shoulder and hitting the driver’s sister in the front passenger seat in the head.
Albarran, the second defendant in the case, pleaded no contest on August 29, 2016, to one count of attempted murder and was sentenced to 17 years to life in state prison.
The girl was left with no use of her legs, and a limited ability to speak.