Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A 42-year-old man who shot an acquaintance before stealing a car and eluding police in Dana Point pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault with a semiautomatic firearm and was immediately sentenced to more than 23 years in prison.

Julian St. John of Orange, was arrested in March 2014 for shooting a 56-year-old man in the 32500 block of Crete Road on a Sunday morning, according to Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock. The victim was shot in a hand and sustained a cut on the head.

St. John went to the victim’s home in Dana Point on March 9, 2014, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

St. John struck the victim’s forehead with an arrow lacking a head that he shot with a crossbow, prosecutors said. St. John then slammed a fire extinguisher over the victim’s head several times, according to prosecutors.

After chasing the victim into his backyard, St. John shot the victim with a gun, wounding one of his fingers, according to prosecutors. When the victim ran back into the house to hide in the bathroom, St. John fired the gun through the door, prosecutors said.

St. John also threatened another man and fled after stealing the wounded victim’s vehicle, prosecutors said.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies pursued St. John as he fled the scene south on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway until he exited the freeway, stopped the vehicle and then punched the gas, steering the car toward the deputy as he raced away, prosecutors said.

St. John later drove the vehicle through a fence at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, abandoned the car and ran away, according to prosecutors.

St. John, who was sentenced to 23 years and four months behind bars, also pleaded guilty to mayhem, stealing a car and concealing a loaded, unregistered weapon in a vehicle, all felonies.

St. John also admitted to sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily harm to the victim and the use of a firearm.

An attempted murder charge, which would have mandated a life sentence was dropped as part of the plea deal with prosecutors, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman.

St. John represented himself in court, Mestman said.

–City News Service

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