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Gang member pleads no contest in 2012 drive-by shooting in Woodland

Published: Thursday, May. 1, 2014 - 6:10 pm

A gang member accused of a 2012 drive-by shooting in Woodland has pleaded no contest to attempted murder.

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office announced that 25-year-old Francisco Andres Aldana Nava of Woodland entered the plea Tuesday with an enhancement for personal use of a firearm causing great bodily injury. As part of the plea, Nava agreed to 30 years to life in state prison, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release.

On Aug. 8, 2012, Nava, a validated Sureno gang member, gunned down a rival Norteno gang member in Woodland near Don’s Diner because Nortenos reportedly had thrown a rock through his window earlier in the evening, authorities siad.

When officers arrived, they found the victim, an 18-year-old validated Norteno gang member, severely injured and lying in the street. Don’s Diner was closed at the time of the shooting, but employees were still inside when a shotgun blast took out some of the front windows. No one inside was injured.

Witnesses reported seeing a mid-1990s white Ford Mustang drive up to the victim in the middle of the street. The passenger, later identified as Nava, stuck a shotgun out the window and shot the rival gang member at close range, authorities said. The Mustang then sped away.

The victim was transported to UC Davis Medical Center.

Police found Nava a few weeks later at Beamer Park with other Sureno gang members. He had a loaded shotgun and his cell phone. Police obtained a search warrant and reviewed messages on Nava’s phone. Included were messages from Nava bragging about shooting the rival gang member in the “Four Corners,” a reference to the area of West Cross and Cottonwood streets in Woodland, authorities said. Police later connected Nava to the Ford Mustang used in the shooting.

The case was investigated by the Yolo County Gang Task Force and the Woodland Police Department.

Nava is to be sentenced June 9 by Yolo County Superior Court Judge David Reed.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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