Man sent to prison in burglary, attacks

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WALLA WALLA — An area man was ordered Tuesday afternoon to serve nearly two years in prison for burglarizing a Walla Walla home in February and participating in an attack on two pedestrians early last year.

Roberto R. Arroyo, 24, faced 22-29 months behind bars under the state’s standard-range sentencing laws.

In handing him the low-end sentence of 22 months, Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann accepted a prosecution recommendation included in a plea agreement.

Lohrmann gave Arroyo credit for the 88 days he’d already served since his arrest at the scene of the February burglary.

Arroyo will have to pay about $2,980 in costs and fees.

Arroyo had pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, a felony.

Officials said he entered the home of Shelby Fullen at 521 Martha St. on Feb. 28 while family members were asleep and tried to get away with a television set mounted on the wall of a bedroom.

Fullen grabbed Arroyo, threw him to the ground and held him while Fullen’s girlfriend called dispatch and authorities arrived.

In the unrelated, prior attack on pedestrians, Arroyo had pleaded guilty to a gross-misdemeanor charge of riot.

He was among about 10 suspected gang members who surrounded William D. Hale Jr. and Kevin J. Reynolds and attacked them in the area of Chase Avenue and Maple Street as they walked home from a tavern about 11:55 p.m. Jan. 11, 2013.

Shots from an air gun apparently were fired.

The victims tried to defend themselves. But Hale suffered facial injuries and also received treatment at Walla Walla General Hospital for a BB wound to his right hand.

Officials said DNA evidence was found on a shoe police seized from Arroyo a couple of days after the attacks.

Charges against another suspect, Juan Venegas Esquivel, 20, recently were dismissed.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden explained that based on available evidence, he would have had difficulty proving Esquivel participated in the assaults.

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

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