RIVERSIDE — A 32-year-old man with a previous felony conviction pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of shooting at occupants of a vehicle on the Riverside (91) Freeway and was immediately sentenced to five years in state prison.
Lorenzo Antonio Parra of Corona admitted one count each of shooting at an occupied vehicle, felony driving under the influence and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped three related charges in exchange for Parra’s admissions under the plea agreement.
Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno accepted the plea during a status hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice, imposing the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a man driving a Chevrolet Silverado going west on the Riverside Freeway, near Adams Street in Riverside, came under fire about 10:40 p.m. on May 22.
CHP Officer Juan Quintero said the victim, whose name was not disclosed, exited the freeway on McKinley Avenue in Corona and called 911, describing the vehicle from which the shots originated as a burgundy Honda Accord, occupied by two people.
“The victim related that he observed the muzzle flash and heard the gunshots but did not know where the bullets struck his vehicle and was not able to obtain a license plate” number, Quintero said.
Neither the driver or his passenger was injured.
Quintero said patrol units canvassed the freeway and surrounding streets, locating Parra’s sedan on the westbound Riverside Freeway at Maple Street in Corona nearly two hours later.
Because Parra’s car matched the description given by the victim, it was stopped as it exited the freeway onto Green River Road, according to Quintero.
After officers confirmed that Parra was driving on a suspended license, he was detained, along with his companion.
“A thorough search of the suspect vehicle resulted in locating a loaded Ruger 9mm handgun, loose ammunition and one used shell casing,” Quintero said.
Parra was taken into custody without a struggle, and his passenger was released after questioning.
Investigators determined the shooting was not connected to the rash of vandalism attacks targeting vehicles traveling the Riverside Freeway between Anaheim and Riverside from mid-April to late May, resulting in windows being blown out by projectiles, identified as BBs and pellets.
Another convicted felon, 34-year-old Jesse Leal Rodriguez of Anaheim, was arrested and charged in connection with at least one of the attacks, though authorities believe he’s responsible for more.
According to court records, Parra has prior convictions for driving under the influence, felony evading and driving on a suspended license.
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