State prosecutor Ashlee Mills told the judge, “For the aggravated assault charge that is a serious violent offense or can be found to be a serious violent offense based on the nature of the offense and the resulting harm.”
The bar’s surveillance video shows the incident started when three women were fighting. Valdez is seen firing his handgun inside the bar. Other customers got involved trying to take the gun from him. One of the bargoers was pistol-whipped and shot in the arm.
Once outside, Valdez tried to run over the DJ before pulling a shotgun from his SUV and unloading it on the bar. An arrest warrant was issued for Valdez about three weeks after the incident and he was taken into custody in October.
Valdez’s attorney said he took responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty last month. “It also wasn’t Mr. Valdez’s intention to use the gun that night. He didn’t show up to the bar just to shoot people and the gun appears to be pulled in the moment and things kind of escalated from there,” said defense attorney Sean Beherec. He also pointed out that Valdez was also shot in the arm and apparently beaten. A photo of Valdez from the hospital was shown in court.
Before the plea deal, his original charges could have landed him in jail for up to 12 years. Valdez was looking at two to four under the plea deal.
Judge Joseph Montano agreed with prosecutors he should get all four years. He said, “This is clearly a dangerous incident that took place where you discharged a firearm in a liquor establishment where numerous people were present and it took three individuals to get that firearm away from you.”
Valdez will receive credit for the seven months he’s spent in jail up until now.