Man sentenced in Eastgate beating

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WALLA WALLA — A man who participated with four others in an attack outside an Eastgate restaurant in May pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court to felony riot.

Thomas C. Deleon, 24, then was sentenced to the 39 days he served in the County Jail since he was booked.

Time-served was recommended by the prosecution. Deleon could have been ordered to spend up to a year under the state’s standard-range sentencing law.

Judge John Lohrmann also placed Deleon on a year of community custody, a form of probation, and assessed him $1,702 in court fees and costs. The amount does not include restitution that will be determined later because the most seriously injured of the two victims is still undergoing treatment.

Deleon, of Pasco, initially was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and gross-misdemeanor riot, but the case against him was reduced in a plea agreement.

Defense attorney Robin Olson told Lohrmann before the sentence was imposed that Deleon was involved in a fight that escalated because of a “mob mentality.”

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden countered that the attack was “pretty nasty,” but said law enforcement and the primary victim are “OK” with the resolution of the case.

Deleon is one of five men involved in the unarmed assaults on Cody J. Watson and Ryan C. Larson near a car in the 300 block of North Blue Street adjacent to Ming Court about 2 a.m. May 10, according to police. At least some of the assailants reportedly were claiming affiliations with a local gang.

Some of the attackers went through Watson’s pockets — allegedly taking miscellaneous items — and took off in the car. He was treated for a concussion, a nasal fracture and lacerations.

Police said they had no clear motive. Neither Watson nor Larson has any known gang affiliation.

Not all the suspects have been apprehended.

One defendant, Emil E. Zamora, 22, turned himself in last fall and pleaded guilty in November to a gross-misdemeanor charge of riot.

He later received a yearlong suspended sentence.

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

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