WALLA WALLA -- A gang member suspected of stabbing a member of his own gang in the neck during an altercation last weekend has been formally charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court.
Jesse Corona, 19, of 115 N. Fifth Ave., is accused of two counts of first-degree assault. The charges were filed Tuesday afternoon. Bail has been set at $75,000.
Corona stabbed Brian Lamprea, 18, outside the residence at 412 S. Eighth Ave. about 1:40 a.m. Saturday, according to a police report filed in court.
Lamprea was badly injured with a puncture wound near the base of his skull that fractured a vertebra. He also suffered a head laceration and both wounds were bleeding profusely, officials said.
In addition, a juvenile -- whose name isn't being disclosed by law enforcement -- reportedly suffered a cut hand while trying to intervene in the fight.
Lamprea was taken by a patrol sergeant to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment. His medical condition hasn't been available for release.
The juvenile received several stitches at the hospital, then was discharged.
Officials received conflicting information on how the injuries occurred.
A man who was helping Lamprea after he was hurt claimed "his friend had fallen and been injured on a rock," the police report says.
The youth with a cut hand told a detective he suffered his injury while cooking.
Lamprea reportedly said in a police interview at the hospital he had "got out of line" and a relative "took care of it." Lamprea later denied saying that.
But based on information from a confidential eyewitness, police believe Corona used a switchblade-style knife to stab Lamprea in the neck while a group of people were outside 412 S. Eighth.
A blood trail led officers to that location, where gang members are known to live and gather, police said. Officers served a search warrant there Saturday afternoon to collect evidence, including DNA.
Corona was contacted at his residence and in an interview at the police station said he had been outside the Eighth Avenue residence that morning where he, himself, was assaulted about 3 a.m. by approximately five people who arrived in a white car. He said he received a bloody nose and lip after having been "jumped."
Corona denied stabbing anyone.
He was taken into custody about 6 p.m.
Corona pleaded guilty in September to a gross-misdemeanor riot charge for participating in a reported gang-related fight on West Cherry Street in early February. For that, he received a 330-day suspended jail sentence and 12 months of probation.
Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle wrote in an e-mail message Tuesday his office intends to file a motion seeking to revoke Corona's probation in that case.