Teen pleads guilty in gang-related fight

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WALLA WALLA -- A 16-year-old youth pleaded guilty in Superior Court this morning to a reduced charge 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., entered the guilty plea in the court's Juvenile Department to a charge of third-degree assault. He had been accused of second-degree assault, which was reduced in a plea agreement.

He faces a standard-range penalty of up to 30 days in detention when he's sentenced later.

Officials said Carmona-Hernandez hit Christian J. Ramos in the head and shoulder with a baseball bat during an altercation about 11:20 a.m. March 7 near Ramos' residence. Police said Carmona-Hernandez, 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 hit Ramos with it. Arroyo and others also exited the car and Arroyo assisted in the assault, officials said.

Police believe, at some point, Ramos acquired the bat and struck Carmona-Hernandez in the head, seriously injuring him. Ramos, 17, is facing a trial Oct. 29 in juvenile court on a charge of second-degree assault.

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 -- who was released from custody after his arrest pending the outcome of his case -- also was charged with fourth-degree assault in an alleged, unrelated attack. But that charge was dropped as part of his plea agreement.

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