Photo from Pixabay.
Photo from Pixabay.

A 23-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 35 years to life for the drive-by shooting of a 15-year-old honor roll student in Santa Ana.

Brian Jose Miguel-Hernandez pleaded guilty July 7 to second-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member. Miguel-Hernandez, who was initially facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, accepted a plea deal from prosecutors.

The defendant was involved in the Sept. 10, 2012, fatal shooting of 15- year-old Jimmy Hernandez in the 2000 block of West Myrtle St., according to Deputy District Attorney Cyril Yu. The boy was riding a bike down the street about 6 p.m. when he was shot by gang members who were in a rival gang’s neighborhood, Yu said.

It’s unclear what prompted the shooting as the victim had no gang ties, Yu said.

The victim’s sister, Guadalupe Juan-Reyes, told Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue how the shooting affected her family.

“We not only lost a family member, but we lost a beautiful person,” she said. “My brother Jimmy was the youngest of four, a loving human being with a bright future ahead of him.”

She added that her brother “was a well-known academic achiever in high school, an honor roll student, a great uncle, and much more.”

Jimmy’s mother “suffers from anxiety” and other medical issues, Juan- Reyes said.

The family “lives in fear,” she said.

To the defendant, she said, “We can never forgive you for what you have taken from us.”

Miguel-Hernandez’s attorney, David Dziejowski, said his client wanted to avoid putting the family through a trial and feels remorse for the killing.

–City News Service

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