Uranga Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison

Published 01/13 2012 05:20PM

Updated 01/13 2012 06:56PM

    A 19-year-old Wichita Falls man receives 60 years in prison for an attempted robbery of a pawn shop.
    Abbott Joseph Uranga pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated robbery for an incident that occurred in May at the "Quick and Easy Pawn Shop" on Kemp.
    His sentence was handed down this afternoon by Judge Bob Brotherton in the 30th District Court.
    The prosecution said Uranga's behavior is a threat to the community, while the defense argued Uranga was influenced to behave that way and he's since changed.
    Uranga's mood changed tremendously from the time he entered Judge Brotherton's 30th District Court until the time he exited.
    He walked in smiling, waving hello to family and friends.
    But after he received his 60 year prison sentence, he exited with a scowl on his face, tears running down his cheeks, his eyes red from crying.
    After the hearing, Judge Brotherton explained his ruling.
    "I felt it was appropriate because I didn't see any justification or excuse for the defendant's conduct," Judge Brotherton said.
    John Gillespie, the first assistant district attorney, says, "Our main argument was that the judge needed to say that this type of violence and this type of gang activity is unacceptable in our community and will be treated with the harshest of sentences."
    Police say during the robbery, Uranga pulled a handgun and pointed it at the store owner, demanding money.
    The owner said Uranga fired a shot at him, so he ran to the back of the store and grabbed a loaded shotgun.
    Police say both men fired at each other, and the owner's second shot hit Uranga in the back.
    Uranga told police he associated with the VC and testified that a VC member drove the getaway car.   
    "This sentence sends a loud message that if you break the peace of our community, if you engage in this type of violent conduct, if you use weapons and engage in gang activity, it will not be tolerated," Gillespie says.
    Uranga will serve at least 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
    We also reached out to Defense Attorney Mark Barber to get his take on the verdict.
    Barber said he had another hearing he needed to get to after Uranga's sentencing.

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