Rock-throwing spree sends Pasco man to jail for 10 days

By the Tri-City HeraldOctober 29, 2012 

— A 21-year-old Pasco man who decided to get a thrill with his friends by throwing rocks at cars two years ago will have a chance to clear his record if he stays out of trouble.

Juan Miguel Vallejo also has to make monthly payments to pay back almost $7,800 in restitution. If the restitution is paid in full within two years, Judge Craig Matheson said Vallejo can return to court to have his record cleared.

Vallejo, who has no prior criminal history, pleaded guilty recently in Benton County Superior Court to third-degree malicious mischief.

He had been charged with first-degree malicious mischief for the vandalism spree in 2010 that caused more than $16,000 in damage to 31 vehicles in south Richland, court documents said.

Deputy Prosecutor Megan Killgore agreed to reduce the charge as part of a plea deal that required Vallejo to be responsible for the full restitution cost, even though he was not alone when the cars were damaged.

Killgore also recommended a 10-day jail sentence, but said she wasn't opposed to letting Vallejo serve the time on work crew or work release.

"He's kind of got the short end of the stick here, all because he was hanging out with the wrong people and made some bad choices," she said.

Vallejo, who is attending Spokane Community College and wants to become an engineer, admitted his involvement in the vandalism spree, but charges were dismissed against a co-defendant because Vallejo wasn't available to testify in that case, documents said.

He wrote a statement to the court that said one night he was out with friends and they thought "it would be fun to grab a few rocks and chuck them at cars."

Vallejo said it was done maybe to feel a rush, "but in a negative way."

He apologized for his actions and said "this is not who I am."

Judge Matheson decided to make Vallejo serve the 10 days in jail -- not allowing work crew or work release -- and said Vallejo could serve his sentence during his Christmas break.

In addition to paying restitution in full, Matheson also ordered Vallejo to write apology letters to each victim within the next two months.

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