25-year-old Pasco man gets 10 years in prison

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldApril 16, 2013 

A 25-year-old Pasco man was ordered Tuesday to serve a little more than 10 years in prison for attacking a mother and daughter inside their apartment.

Isidro Licon had nothing to say to the judge before the sentence was handed down.

He's expected to appeal his January conviction after the court refused to set aside the jury's guilty verdicts and dismiss the case.

Lawyer Norma Rodriguez argued that her client was prejudiced against and treated unfairly in trial by the prosecutors, who she claimed violated the Rules of Professional Conduct by being dishonest with the court and defense counsel.

Franklin County Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultgrenn, who tried the case with Teddy Chow, disputed the misconduct allegations and accused Rodriguez of perjury for filing court documents with her claims.

Judge Vic VanderSchoor thanked the attorneys for their "very lively arguments," but said he doesn't think there's a need to start over.

"At this point in time, we're going to leave it for the (state) Court of Appeals to decide if there's a new trial," he said. "That's their job."

Licon was convicted of two counts of second-degree assault with gun enhancements and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. His trial lasted just over a week.

Rodriguez claims there were a number of errors and ethical violations by prosecutors in that trial that should result in a dismissal.

She said that when she tried to recall a prosecution witness to impeach his testimony, police and prosecutors denied knowing the witness' whereabouts, even though an officer reportedly drove him to a Kennewick hotel where the victims were staying.

The defense wasn't able to further question the man about his statements, which prejudiced Licon's case, she said.

"I've been calling it a misrepresentation but they lied to the court. You can't lie to the court," Rodriguez argued. "I'm uncomfortable to bring this motion, your honor. I don't like having to accuse my fellow colleagues of misconduct, but it is what it is."

Hultgrenn was offended that he's being accused of being dishonest, lying and hiding witnesses from the defense.

"It's hard, since we haven't had a resolution on this (case), to listen to her accuse me of this," he said in court. Hultgrenn said the defense has no proof of their allegations, adding that prosecutors didn't know where some of the witnesses were after their release from protective custody.

Hultgrenn recommended a sentence at the top of the standard range for seven years and nine months.

He said even though the jury didn't find that the assaults were gang-related, the judge could consider Licon's known active membership and that he lied while on the witness stand.

Michelle Alexander, Licon's second defense attorney, said six years and seven months at the bottom of the range was more appropriate. She said the court heard the witnesses and testimony -- and the many objections from the defense -- and reiterated that prosecutors failed to make a connection between the assault and gang involvement.

VanderSchoor decided to order a prison term in the middle.

Licon received six years for the two gun enhancements. That time is mandatory and can't be reduced for good behavior.

He then got a four-year, two-month term for the main charges.

But Licon won't be leaving the Franklin County jail any time soon. He has another trial tentatively set for July 10.

In that case, Licon is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, drive-by shooting and four counts of second-degree assault. The assaults include allegations that a deadly weapon was used.

Licon's alleged crimes happened on the same day.

On Feb. 10, 2012, about 4 p.m., Licon and two friends went to the West B Street apartment of Sylvia Guerra. Licon reportedly was upset because he didn't like that a fellow gang member was in a relationship with Guerra.

Licon ended up fighting with Guerra, and when the woman's 18-year-old daughter came to her aid, Licon threw the teen to the ground and pointed a gun in her face while threatening to shoot her, court documents said.

Guerra, 33, begged for her daughter's life and ended up being hit in the face several times by another man, documents said.

Licon claimed self-defense, saying he only used force to protect himself and his friends.

About six hours later, Licon allegedly shot a man outside a Pasco convenience store.

The victim told police he'd been inside a North Fourth Avenue store when Licon confronted him. Licon left the store, but outside he took three shots at the victim as he started walking down Court Street, court documents said. The man was hit in either the face or the neck, documents said.

Licon couldn't be located by police for more than two months and reportedly went to Arizona, but was arrested in Kennewick on April 13, 2012.

If convicted of all charges in the attempted murder, Licon could be looking at an additional 50 to 60 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

His criminal history includes two counts each of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and third-degree assault, and attempting to elude police.

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