A Burbank man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday for knocking on the door of a Pasco home in 2013 and shooting the person who answered.
The sentence for Juan Carlos Aranda-Sarabia, 30, was on the low end of a state sentencing range. Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner could have put him behind bars for up to 25 years.
Prosecutors recommended the lesser sentence. Aranda-Sarabia has no known prior convictions and has been a model inmate in jail, said Franklin County Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultgrenn.
“We think that’s a substantial sentence, especially since five years of it is going to be for firearm enhancement, hard time,” Hultgrenn told the judge.
The lack of an established motive in the case also factored into the lesser sentence, Spanner said.
“We’re left to speculate on that,” he said.
Aranda-Sarabia was convicted last month of first-degree attempted murder and assault. He went to an apartment complex on North Oregon Avenue in February 2013, knocked on a door and asked for someone who didn’t live in the apartment, according to police and court documents.
Alfredo Leyva closed the front door to his home, but answered again after a second knock. That is when Aranda-Sarabia pointed a shotgun at Leyva and shot him in the stomach, documents said.
A neighbor told police she saw Aranda-Sarabia with the shotgun in front of the apartment and heard a loud boom, documents said.
Leyva testified during Aranda-Sarabia’s trial that he spent four months in intensive care in the hospital, then eight months in respite care, undergoing a number of surgeries, Spanner said.
Aranda-Sarabia’s attorney, Craig Stilwill, filed an appeal notice on his behalf, saying Aranda-Sarabia maintains his innocence.
Aranda-Sarabia was accepting of the sentence when offered the chance to speak.
“Whatever decision you make will be the right one,” he told Spanner through an interpreter.