Crime - Sacto 911

Man convicted of drunken shooting at Sacramento nightclub gets 31 years to life

A man convicted of shooting at a Sacramento bouncer after being kicked out of a nightclub for trying to start a fight was sentenced last week to 31 years, 8 months to life in prison.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Trena Burger-Plavan on Friday sentenced Abelino Gonzalez Nunez, 37, after a jury convicted him of attempted first-degree murder in August. Nunez was also found guilty of six lesser charges, including bribery of a public official for offering to pay an arresting officer to release him.

The incident that led to Nunez’s conviction happened on Dec. 16, 2013, at La Cabaña Club on Folsom Boulevard between Howe and Watt avenues in Sacramento. Sacramento County prosecutors said Nunez was drunk and tossed from the club just after 1 a.m. for trying to start a fight with another patron. Nunez retrieved his car and pulled to the front of the club, where he motioned for a security guard to come closer to his car. He then opened fire on the guard, prosecutors said.

The guard avoided injury by diving behind a rock wall, according to statement from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. One bullet fired by Nunez hit that wall, and another went into the club. A bystander pointed out Nunez’s car when Sacramento police arrived, and a brief high-speed chase ensued, reaching speeds up to 90 mph.

Nunez ran red lights, blew through stop signs and drove in the opposite lane of traffic before crashing into a parked truck, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

After crashing, Nunez took off on foot and was pursued by officers. They quickly caught him.

A test of Nunez’s blood alcohol content found that it was 0.21, about 2 1/2 times the legal limit, according to prosecutors. After the test was administered, Nunez offered to pay the officer $5,000 to let him go before upping that to $25,000, prosecutors said in court documents.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, Nunez was convicted of assault with a semi-automatic pistol, felony evading an officer with wanton disregard for public safety, hit and run, driving under the influence, bribery of a public official and being a felon in possession of a handgun. Nunez had a prior 2002 drug conviction.

Editor’s note (Dec. 10): This post has been corrected. The nightclub is located in Sacramento, not Folsom.

Anita Chabria: 916-321-1049, @chabriaa