Second Milton-Freewater drive-by shooter goes to prison

Clemente Garcia Cerda

PENDLETON — The second of two men pleaded guilty Monday for his role in a Milton-Freewater drive-by shooting.

Clemente Garcia Cerda, 21, of Walla Walla, faced one count of attempted murder and multiple charges of unlawful use of a weapon and recklessly endangering others. He took a deal and pleaded guilty Monday in Umatilla County Circuit Court, Hermiston, to two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

Judge Eva Temple sentenced him to five years, 10 months in state prison per the plea agreement Cerda made with the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office. He receives credit of about five months for time spent in the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton.

Cerda and Francisco Javier Palacios Garcia, 24, of Milton-Freewater, were in a car around midnight May 10 when they opened fire outside the Milton-Freewater home of Eric Rodriguez. He was only a few feet from the vehicle but no bullet struck him nor anyone else.

Milton-Freewater Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer reported it was a gang-related drive-by shooting.

Palacios Garcia took a deal in July and pleaded guilty to two counts each of unlawful use of a weapon and recklessly endangering another person. He is serving a five-year sentence in Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, Pendleton.

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