A gang member from Yakima faces at least 67 years in prison after being found guilty Wednesday on numerous charges in the 2010 shooting death of a 15-year-old rival gang member.
Erik R. Carrasco, 19, was convicted by a Yakima County jury of second-degree murder in the slaying of Alexis Ixta, as well as four counts of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
With deadly weapon enhancements, Carrasco faces a standard-range sentence of from 67 to 85 years in prison, deputy prosecutor Tammy Hanlon said. He rejected a pre-trial plea deal of 25 years, court records show.
The jury of nine women and three men rejected Carrasco’s claim of self-defense in the death of Ixta, who suffered a gunshot wound to the back of his head as he and four other Sureños cruised rival Norteño territory on North Fourth Street. Carrasco, a member of La Raza Norteño, was 17 at the time but tried as an adult.
Ixta and another youth were wounded when someone in their car allegedly tossed a can of beer at Carrasco, who testified he fired only after he thought he saw a “shiny” object in the car.
Authorities found no guns or ammo in the car. Police reported they had taken Ixta home the day before the shooting with a warning to his parents that he was hanging out with gang members.
According to court records, Carrasco had a growing juvenile record at the time of the shooting that 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.
In addition to the weapon enhancements, the jury also returned verdicts on multiple gang aggravators that allow the judge discretion to tack on even more time to Carrasco’s sentence.
Hanlon questioned whether that was necessary in this case. “Even at the low end of the standard range (of 67 years), it’s close to a life sentence,” she said.