Trial delayed in gang-related shooting

Joseph D. Dejesus is accused of shooting at rival gang members and injuring one of them in October.


WALLA WALLA -- A new trial date has been set for a man accused of shooting at several rival gang members and injuring one following a confrontation in the 300 block of North Sixth Avenue in October.

Joseph D. Dejesus, 20, had been set for trial in Walla Walla County Superior Court beginning this Tuesday on seven counts of first-degree assault, and one count each of drive-by shooting and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Dejesus also was to be tried on a felony riot charge for his alleged participation in a drive-by shooting at Howard and Tietan streets last summer.

But the proceedings now are slated to start March 20.

Police said Dejesus was a passenger in a Nissan Pathfinder that drove by the house at 308 N. Sixth about 3 p.m. Oct. 8. After an argument ensued with a rival gang member and others who came out of the house, Dejesus allegedly fired three or four shots from a small-caliber handgun.

Birzavit Carmona Hernandez, 19, was shot in the leg and taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

The following day, a .22-caliber handgun reportedly was found in a different car in Milton-Freewater that had been occupied by Dejesus. Because of his criminal history, it is unlawful for him to possess a firearm.

Regarding the shooting July 28 at Howard and Tietan, police say Dejesus was with other gang members in the bed of a pickup that was chasing rival members in a Chevy Tahoe.

Shots were fired from the pickup's cab while Dejesus and others in the back were throwing rocks, officials said.

Dejesus was apprehended Nov. 30 following a 21-hour standoff with police at a mobile home in the 1800 block of Plaza Way. Total bail was set at $400,000.

Terry McConn can be reached at or 526-8319.


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