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Driver in drive-by shooting to get 18 years in prison

POSTED: February 10, 2008 5:05 a.m.
The driver in a gang-related drive-by shooting at a subdivision off Candler Road is likely to receive a sentence of 18 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday in Hall County Superior Court.

Enrique Toribio, 21, an acknowledged member of the BOE-23 gang, was the first of five defendants to have his case adjudicated in the Aug. 14 shootings.

In a negotiated plea, Toribio agreed that he would receive a sentence of 45 years, with 18 years to serve in prison and the remainder on probation, with the understanding he would testify truthfully in any future trial of his co-defendants.

Sentencing by Judge Andrew Fuller will take place after Toribio testifies, if necessary.

No one was injured when two occupied homes were sprayed with shotgun pellets during a 24-hour period at the Silverwood and Lenox Park subdivisions.

The shooters, members of the BOE-23 and La Onda street gangs, thought the homes were occupied by rival gang members. None of the occupants had gang connections.

Toribio pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, criminal damage to property and violation of Georgia’s street gang terrorism act.

As part of the plea agreement, Toribio answered questions asked by Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Burton about how the shooting occurred. Toribio said he had just gotten out of jail on a marijuana charge when he met up with brothers Adrian and Ernesto Reyes at Atlanta Street Apartments the day of the shooting.

"Somebody had put a gun to Adrian’s head," Toribio said, in explaining the motive for the shooting. Asked who they were gunning for, Toribio replied "Sur," the BOE gang’s rivals, also known as SUR-13.

Toribio said he was driving a green Honda with Adrian Reyes riding in the front passenger seat and Ernesto Reyes in the back seat when Ernesto Reyes asked Toribio to stop and back up to a house on Briarcliff Court.

"I backed up a little bit, and he started shooting," Toribio said.

Toribio said three shots were fired from the weapon, a 12-gauge shotgun. The blasts hit a truck in the driveway, shattering its windows, and damaged a garage door. A married couple was inside the house at the time of the shooting, about 10:45 on a Tuesday night.

"What did Ernesto say after all this?" Burton asked Toribio.

"He was just laughing," Toribio replied.

After Tuesday’s court hearing, the victims said their lives had been forever altered by the attack on their home.

"We used to not sleep with the flood lights on outside," said the man, who asked that his and his wife’s name not be printed for fear of gang retribution.

"You hear strange cars now and you look out the window to see who it is," the woman said.

The woman said she wasn’t entirely satisfied with the plea deal.

"If it was up to me, he would never see the light of day," she said.

Her husband acknowledged that Toribio’s testimony may help in prosecuting others in the case.

"I think (the plea deal) was pretty well justified, if they get what they want out of him," he said.



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