Trial date set for gang member in assaults

Jesse Corona is accused of hitting one man and stabbing another in April.

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WALLA WALLA -- A gang member pleaded innocent Monday afternoon in Superior Court to attacking two people during a fight last April.

Jesse Corona, 19, of 115 N. Fifth Ave., is set for trial April 4 and 5 on two counts of second-degree assault.

Corona is accused of stabbing Zachary Gonzalez in the lower back and striking Brian Saldana in his ear during the altercation about 11 p.m. on April 15 at 11th Avenue and Willow Street.

The charges were filed Feb. 16, but Corona has been incarcerated in the County Jail since late December, awaiting trial on two counts of first-degree assault.

In that case, police claim he used a switchblade-style knife to stab Brian Lamprea, 18, during a fight outside the residence at 412 S. Eighth Ave. about 1:40 a.m. Dec. 24.

Lamprea -- reportedly a member of Corona's own gang -- was badly injured with a puncture wound near the base of his skull that fractured a vertebra. Lamprea 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.

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 of last year. For that, he received a 330-day suspended jail sentence and 12 months of probation.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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