WALLA WALLA -- A 16-year-old youth pleaded innocent this morning to second-degree assault in connection with a gang-related fight last winter in the area of 12th Avenue and Birch Street.
Antonio Carmona-Hernandez, of 308 N. Sixth Ave., is scheduled for trial in the Juvenile Department of Walla Walla County Superior Court on Oct. 14.
He is accused of hitting Christian J. Ramos in the head and shoulder with a baseball bat during the altercation about 11:20 a.m. March 7 near Ramos' residence. Police said Carmona-Hernandez, a co-defendant, Roberto R. Arroyo, and others had arrived in a vehicle, after which a dispute arose between Ramos and the vehicle's occupants.
Carmona-Hernandez reportedly was holding the bat as he got out of the car and then allegedly hit Ramos with it. Arroyo and others also exited the car and Arroyo assisted in the assault, officials said.
Officials believe, at some point, Ramos acquired the bat and struck Carmona-Hernandez in the head, seriously injuring him.
But Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden said previously that Ramos will not be charged because Carmona-Hernandez was the aggressor and it could easily be argued that Ramos acted in self-defense.
Arroyo, 20, of 330 W. Chestnut St., pleaded guilty Aug. 10 in the court's adult division to a felony riot charge and was sentenced to the 46 days he had served in the County Jail.
Carmona-Hernandez also is charged with fourth-degree assault. Officials said he participated with two other suspects in assaulting a man near Ninth Avenue and Rose Street on June 26.
No serious injuries were reported.
Carmona-Hernandez was arrested that day and lodged in the Juvenile Justice Center. He since has been released pending the outcome of his case.
He is one of several defendants who pleaded guilty to a riot charge in connection with a gang-related melee in June 2009 outside St. Patrick Catholic Church.
Terry McConn can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8319.