YAKIMA, Wash. — A 19-year-old gang member from Yakima was sentenced to nearly 94 years in prison Friday for a 2010 shooting that claimed the life of a 15-year-old gang rival.
Erik R. Carrasco’s sentence of 1,126 months works out to 93 years and 10 months. Yakima County Superior Court Judge Michael McCarthy issued the sentence, which was close to the 100 years requested by deputy prosecutor Tammy Hanlon and includes more than 33 years in firearms enhancements and gang aggravators.
“You would have to be the oldest man in the world to ever get out, and that’s appropriate given your mindset,” McCarthy told the defendant, adding, “You are dangerous.”
It also became the latest lengthy term handed down in a Yakima County courtroom for a gang shooting. Last week a 17-year-old received 50 years for wounding a gang rival and his girlfriend in an unprovoked attack outside a Yakima gas station in October 2010.
A jury earlier this month convicted Carrasco of second-degree murder for the slaying of Alexis Ixta, who was shot in the back of the head as he and four other Sureños cruised rival Norteño territory on North Fourth Street on April 28, 2010.
The jury also convicted Carrasco of four counts of first-degree assault — one count for each of Ixta’s four companions — plus one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
In doing so, the jury rejected Carrasco’s self-defense claim that he fired only after he thought he saw a “shiny” object in the car. Police said no weapons or ammo was found in the car. Testimony at trial suggested gang taunts were exchanged moments before the shooting and that someone in the car threw a can of beer at Carrasco.
Carrasco, a self-admitted La Raza Norteño, was 17 at the time but tried as an adult. His record to that point included a felony conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm and lesser convictions for harassment, obstruction, fighting in public, third-degree malicious mischief and trespassing.
Prior to McCarthy’s judgment, Ixta’s mother told the court that the shooting ruined two lives, her son’s and the defendant’s, and that she had struggled to keep her son from joining a gang. Police previously said they had taken Ixta home the day before the shooting with a warning to his parents that he was hanging out with gang members.
“I tried to pull him out of a gang, and I wasn’t able to,” Maria Ixta said through an interpreter. “And that hurts me.”
Ixta’s father, meanwhile, told the court he has never been able to tell his youngest child, a 5-year-old boy, what truly happened to the boy’s older brother.
“I’m grateful it happened to me and not somebody else in my family,” Miguel Ixta, also speaking through the interpreter, told the court, “because truly this is not something that everybody would be able to survive.”
Carrasco declined the opportunity to address the court before the sentence was passed.
In calculating the sentence, McCarthy called the defendant a “true believer” in the gang culture. The sentence included 25 years in firearms enhancements and 100 months, or eight years and four months, in gang aggravators.
“Mr. Carrasco,” the judge said, “this is the end of the road for you.”
• Chris Bristol can be reached at 509-577-7748 or firstname.lastname@example.org.