Victoria teens sentenced to 12 years in prison for December shooting

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

July 2, 2013 at 2:02 a.m.
Updated July 3, 2013 at 2:03 a.m.

Daria Pancho Luna

Daria Pancho Luna

Two Victoria teens were sentenced to 12 years in prison after a verbal argument with members of a rival street gang escalated to violence.

Darian "Dirty" Pancho Luna, 18, and Cyrus "Cy" Eugene Cardenas, 17, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of engaging in organized criminal activity. They received 12 years in prison for each count, but the sentences will run concurrently.

Luna and Cardenas traveled in a 2005 white Nissan Altima about 1 p.m. Dec. 27.

They verbally fought with two members of a rival street gang standing in the 1300 block of North Levi Street. Luna and Cardenas drove around the block, came back and fired a 12-gauge shotgun twice at the men, according to a Victoria Police Department report.

"Apparently, the ammunition malfunctioned," Victoria Criminal District Attorney Stephen Tyler said, describing how the pellets did not come out of the barrel with much force. "It didn't really wound them, so they were very lucky."

Victoria police caught up with Luna and Cardenas minutes later in the 1200 block of South Navarro Street. They found the gun Luna and Cardenas discarded after the crime in the 500 block of East Third Street, according to the report.

About 10 days earlier, Luna and Cardenas were part of a group of people who burglarized a woman's home. They stole a purse and a Christmas present. It was not related to the later shooting, Tyler said.

"It was kind of a hazing or a prank gone awry," Tyler said of the burglary.

Both Tyler and Luna's attorney, Brent Dornburg, described the punishment as fair.

"A bunch of his (Luna's) co-defendants had turned state evidence," Dornburg said. "Since he was looking at such a large range of punishment, accepting the plea agreement would be in his best interest."

Cardenas' attorney Jerry Clark could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.



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