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Winder man sentenced for shooting into occupied Gainesville motel room

A Winder man who shot into a motel room with four people inside of it in 2018 was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday, Sept. 21, according to court documents.

Jose Manuel Maldonado, 25, was given a 20-year sentence with the first two of those years behind bars after a negotiated plea. He was given credit for time served since August 2020, and the rest of the sentence may be served on probation.

Maldonado and Anthony Dequon Thomas were charged in an October 2019 indictment with four counts each of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony as well as a count of second-degree criminal damage to property.

At the time of Maldonado’s arrest, Gainesville Police called it a drive-by style shooting on Monroe Drive in Gainesville. The indictment alleges the two men shot into a room at a Motel 6 occupied by four people.

Police also said there was another shooting on Spring Haven Drive.

Police did not report any serious injuries in the motel shooting but one man received non-life threatening injuries in the Spring Haven Drive shooting.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said the Spring Haven Drive case was dismissed “due to insufficient evidence from the alleged victim.”

When asked about a potential motive for the motel shooting, Darragh said it would be “simply a matter of speculation.”

The Times has inquired on the status of Thomas’ case.

According to Maldonado’s sentence, Maldonado was ordered to not “possess a firearm, a picture of a firearm or a magazine about a firearm.” He will also be allowed to serve the rest of his custodial time in the Hall County Correctional Institute or “wherever the sheriff determines,” according to the sentence.

Defense attorney Rob McNeill did not immediately return a request for comment.

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