Major player in Walla Walla gang fight gets jail time

Another man is sentenced Tuesday to a work crew stint. Earlier a juvenile involved in the fight was also sentenced.

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WALLA WALLA — A man officials believe was a major participant in a massive gang-related fight outside St. Patrick Catholic Church in June was sentenced Tuesday in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Andres Torres, 19, of 614 N. Ninth Court, was ordered to serve nine months in the County Jail.

The sentence handed down by Judge Donald W. Schacht is the low end of the standard range of nine to 10-and-a-half months Torres faced after pleading guilty Nov. 24 to a charge of conspiracy to second-degree assault.

Schacht gave Torres credit for the 43 days he’d served from the time of his arrest in September until he was released pending final court proceedings. Schacht also placed him on a year of community custody, a form of probation.

Torres’ attorney, Gail Siemers, told Schacht that Torres has been very cooperative and takes responsibility for his actions during the massive fight.

Officials said Torres participated in the beating of Mario R. Aguayo, who suffered a head injury when he was struck with a baseball bat and punched and kicked.

Torres had been accused of second-degree assault and felony riot, but the case was reduced in exchange for his guilty plea.

Also sentenced Tuesday was Ricardo Morales Jr., 19, of 607 E. Sumach St., who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a felony riot charge. He admitted being armed with a baseball bat during the fight, and along with other participants using or threatening to use force against a person.

Schacht ordered Morales to serve 30 days in the County Jail, with credit for eight days previously served. The remaining 22 days will be served on the Departement of Corrections work crew. Morales also was placed on a year of community custody.

Torres and Morales are not to have any further involvement in or contacts with gangs.

Two other men previously were sentenced to time-served and stints on the work crew for their parts in the melee. A fifth defendant was handed a suspended jail term. Aguayo, 18, of 737 N. Seventh Ave., is awaiting trial on charges of felony riot and second-degree assault.

Two juveniles also were charged. One of the youths, Antonio Carmona-Hernandez, 15, of 308 N. Sixth Ave., pleaded guilty last month to felony riot.

Schacht sentenced Carmona-Hernandez on Friday to 30 days in the Juvenile Justice Center, with credit for 11 days previously served before being released pending the outcome of his case. Carmona-Hernandez won’t have to serve the remainder of the time if he successfully complies with a year of community supervision, a form of probation.

The second juvenile is scheduled to stand trial later.

Most of the defendants were arrested Sept. 3 during a coordinated sweep by about 10 area law enforcement officers.

Walla Walla police said the brawl involving 60-100 people occurred shortly before midnight June 13 outside the church where a graduation party was under way. A group of gang members had started harassing three associates of a rival gang and calling on one of them to fight, according to a police report filed in court.

Those being harassed, including Aguayo, left the area and allegedly armed themselves with various weapons. The fight broke out when they returned and Aguayo wielded a baseball bat, police said.

In addition to Aguayo, at least two others were injured.

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