A Prosser High graduate admitted Monday that a senior prank went too far when two break-ins at the school resulted in approximately $400,000 in damage and the theft of electronics and Kellen Moore memorabilia.
Jorge E. Luna Guerrero pleaded guilty to six felony counts, just hours before he was set to face a Benton County Superior Court jury.
Luna Guerrero was among five suspects who vandalized the school on three separate nights last spring, including twice in the weeks after commencement ceremonies. His involvement was on June 6 and 16, according to court documents.
The 20-year-old's criminal case is the last to be resolved.
"I did not intend to cause so much monetary damage," he wrote in his plea statement. "I only thought it to be a prank, which got out of control."
On June 6, Luna Guerrero and Benjamin Velasquez broke into the school overnight and painted several security camera lenses, apparently to obscure their identities. It is believed they got into the 1203 Prosser Ave. school by climbing onto the roof and entering through a window.
They broke windows, ceiling tiles, a trophy case and other items, overturned furniture, smeared food and condiments throughout the building and spray painted walls and other surfaces, documents said.
At some point, Velasquez called Gumaro Cruz, who then went to the school along with Leonel Solorzano Ramirez and climbed through the same window.
Stolen from a trophy case in the main hallway was an autographed Boise State University football jersey that belonged to former Prosser football star Kellen Moore. Speakers and change from a cash register also were taken.
The damage from that break-in was estimated at $10,000, far below the $300,000 to $400,000 price tag for the June 16 incident.
That's when Luna Guerrero and Velasquez returned and got in through a different window. The security cameras were spray painted.
The damage was comparable, but also included broken vending machines, gallons of paint dumped on furniture, walls and the floor and the emptying of fire extinguishers throughout the building.
The burglars took a TV, a Leatherman tool and a football jersey and helmet. Some of the items were recovered, but others were believed dumped in garbage cans in Richland.
An insurance adjuster gave the damage estimates based on required cleaning, replacement and repair of the property.
Luna Guerrero's guilty pleas were for two counts each of second-degree burglary and third-degree theft and one count each of first- and second-degree malicious mischief.
The first-degree malicious mischief charge includes the aggravating circumstance that it was a major economic offense.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 21.
Prosecutors plan to recommend a two-year prison term given the monetary loss to Prosser High.
Luna Guerrero can ask for a sentence within the standard range of one year in prison to one year and four months, court documents said.
Velasquez also was a suspect in an April vandalism at the school.
He pleaded guilty to the same charges as Luna Guerrero, along with a second-degree malicious mischief for the earlier break-in. He faces a two-year term at sentencing Dec. 8.
Cruz and Solorzano Ramirez were sentenced earlier this month to 45 days in jail for second-degree burglary.
And Lawrence Edwin Hall, who spray painted security cameras and left graffiti behind with Velasquez in April, received 20 days in jail for third-degree malicious mischief.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org