MILTON-FREEWATER — A teenager facing three counts of attempted murder and more for a drive-by shooting last August in Milton-Freewater could go to trial.
Gabriel Ivan Arriaga Cruz, 16, has a trial readiness hearing June 7 in the Pendleton courtroom of Circuit Judge Jon Lieuallen. Cruz faces 13 counts in all. According to court records, Cruz will appear via video from the juvenile jail at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility, or NORCOR, in The Dalles. His next appearance, then, comes June 26 for a 12-person jury trial.
That’s still plenty of time for him to follow fellow co-defendants Charley Lozano Magana, 25, Juan Venegas Esquivel, 25, and Michael Angelo Cantu, 28, all of Walla Walla, who took plea deals. Esquivel and Cantu are serving more than three years each in prison for unlawful use of a weapon for their roles in the shooting, which resulted in no injuries, while Magana is serving almost seven years for two counts of unlawful use of a weapon stemming from the drive-by and one for an unrelated third-degree assault.
The final defendant in the case, Aurelio Villalobos Rodriguez, 38, of Milton-Freewater, remains in the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful use of weapon. He has a pretrial conference June 11.