Arismendez is facing a maximum of seven years to life in prison on the attempted murder charge, with a three-year, consecutive enhancement for the special allegation. If given the maximum sentence, Arismendez would be eligible for a parole hearing after 10 years of incarceration. He is due back for sentencing on July 25.
“On the sixth day of February, 2018, (Arismendez) did unlawfully and with malice aforethought, attempt to murder a confidential victim, a human being,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Brendan Farrell said after Arismendez had entered a guilty plea. “It is further alleged that the attempted murder was attempte4d willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation (and that Arismendez) discharged a firearm into the chest of the victim, and that in doing so personally inflicted great bodily injury.”
Arismendez’s plea came prior to a preliminary hearing – where a judge decides, using the ‘probable cause’ standard, whether the prosecution has produced enough evidence to convince a reasonable jury that the defendant committed the crimes charged.
A plea to a life sentence prior to a preliminary hearing is not very common. In exchange for his plea, Arismendez had a charge of attempted second-degree burglary and three related special allegations dropped, as well as two special allegations relating to the attempted murder charge. A charge for being a felon in possession of a firearm and an enhancement for a prior prison term were also dropped.
Had Arismendez gone to a jury trial and been convicted on all of the charges and special allegations against him, however, he was looking at 25 to 30 years to life in prison, Farrell said.
Farrell credited Colusa County Sheriff’s Investigator Jose Ruiz and District Attorney Investigator Chris Liston for conducting a “good investigation.”
Shantrice Nicole Moon-Gomez, 21, the alleged co-conspirator in the case, waived her preliminary hearing and had her case referred to the Colusa County Probation Department, which will complete a pre-plea report. Moon-Gomez is charged with attempted second degree robbery, with a special allegation that she had knowledge that a principal in the crime was armed with a firearm. The pre-plea report will be submitted prior to Moon-Gomez’s next court date, scheduled for July 11 at 1 PM. The District Attorney’s office has indicated that they could still charge Moon-Gomez with conspiracy; during a hearing in March, Moon-Gomez’s attorney, Sukhrahj S. Pamma, said he was working to get his client a plea deal with the District Attorney before additional charges were filed that could significantly increase her chances of going to prison.
Moon-Gomez has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of second degree robbery.
Moon-Gomez and Arismendez were originally arrested on Feb. 6, 2018. According to the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to Colusa Casino at about 8:50 PM that night after receiving a report of an adult male who had suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the man was shot on the Colusa Rancheria, just outside the southern end of the casino property, before driving a short distance to the casino itself and calling 911. Authorities are still not identifying the victim out of concern for their safety.
Investigators obtained a description of the suspect and the suspect’s truck while Sheriff’s Office personnel, Task Force agents, Colusa Police officers and California Highway Patrol officers set up a perimeter around the area. A CHP helicopter was called in to assist, and located a vehicle matching the description at a residence northwest of the casino. After a short foot pursuit, the Colusa County Special Operations and Response Team arrested the suspect, 33-year-old Ysidro Chico Arismendez, on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, assault with a firearm, criminal conspiracy, and possession of a controlled substance.
Moon-Gomez was also located at the residence and taken into custody. She was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery, fear as an element in a robbery, assault with a firearm, and criminal conspiracy.