Man sent to prison in gun-pointing

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WALLA WALLA — A man who police say brandished a gun during a fight witnessed by frightened customers in the Walmart parking lot in August was sentenced Monday afternoon in Superior Court to two-and-a-half years in prison.

Larry E. Hoy Jr., 38, of 852 Brickner Road, College Place, was ordered to serve the midpoint of the standard range of 26-34 months he faced.

In imposing the sentence, Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht went along with a prosecution recommendation. As required by law, he gave Hoy credit for the 124 days he’d already served in the County Jail.

Hoy apologized before the sentence was handed down and told Schacht, “I’ve seen the error of my ways.”

“In the future, I will be an upstanding citizen,” Hoy said.

Schacht later warned him if he doesn’t, “You’re probably going to prison for as long as the judge can send you.”

Hoy pleaded guilty Dec. 3 to first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He is not allowed to possess a gun because of his criminal history, which includes drug-related convictions.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the prosecution dropped a companion charge of first-degree assault.

Officials said Hoy pointed a semiautomatic pistol at Andy Wade during the confrontation outside the College Place Walmart about 3 p.m. Aug. 15.

Wade and another man, Paul Leseman, told College Place police they saw Hoy drive in and confronted him because he owed them more than $6,000. Wade said that when he walked over to Hoy’s Lincoln Town Car, Hoy pointed the gun, with his finger on the trigger, straight at him and Leseman, according to a police report filed in court.

Hoy then reportedly drove off heading north, but was located and arrested in the 200 block of Woodland Avenue in Walla Walla.

The gun was recovered from a locked box in the trunk of his vehicle, the police report says.

An officer who happened to be inside Walmart when the confrontation occurred wrote that he was met by patrons running in, screaming and shouting about a gun and a fight in the parking lot.

Also, dispatch received about seven 911 calls.

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