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Man sentenced to years in prison for role in Utica shooting incidents

Jonathan Padilla, 23, and Victor Merced-Almonte, 21, both of Utica, were each charged with felony second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Posted: Jan. 23, 2019 10:03 AM

UTICA, N.Y. -- A man charged for his role in connection with a Utica shooting, and several shots fired incidents last year has been sentenced. 

Jonathan Padilla, 23, and Victor Merced-Almonte, 21, both of Utica, were each charged with felony second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Padilla previously pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and was sentenced in court Tuesday to 15 years in prison, with 5 years of post-release supervision. 

Police say back in October of 2018, officers responded to the 1600 block of West Street for a report of shots fired. Officers spoke with the caller, who said he heard several gunshots outside his residents, then went outside where he saw two men in front of his house. He said he engaged them in conversation, and during the conversation one of the men displayed a handgun and fired shots at the caller. The caller was uninjured, and damage to a vehicle was found.

Less than an hour later, around 11:40 p.m., officers responded to the 1200 block of Kemble Street for a report of an assault and shots fired. When police arrived, they found a 28-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to the back. She was treated at the scene and then transported to a local hospital for further treatment, and police say her injuries are non-life-threatening.

The woman told police that she confronted two men on her property, and during a verbal exchange one of the men displayed a handgun and then shot her.

Then, around 12:30 a.m., Utica police responded to the 100 block of Clinton Street for a report of a fight and shots fired. Police were told that two men were fighting another male in the driveway when he yelled out to them. One of the men then showed a handgun and fired at the victim, who was uninjured, but his residence was struck by gunfire.

A description of the suspects was then given to police and officers located Padilla and Merced-Almonte shortly afterward. They were taken into custody without incident, and police say a firearm was also recovered.

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