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Albert Lea man sentenced to six years in prison for firing gun

An Albert Lea man received six years in prison Thursday for admitting to firing a gun while arguing with a woman in September outside of a southwest Austin home.

Hector Adrian Rodriguez, 25, was sentenced in Mower District Court to a 72-month term after pleading guilty Feb. 1 to single felony counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, second-degree drug crime and possession of stolen property — each count from a separate criminal complaint.

Rodriguez must serve at least four years before he's eligible for release from prison. However, Rodriguez likely will be deported after prison, his attorney said.

A presentence investigation gave a sentencing range of 68 to 78 months based on Rodriguez's criminal history, with prosecutors asking for the highest term.

Defense attorney Dan Donnelly, of Austin, asked Judge Donald E. Rysavy for 68 months because that's what was anticipated during the plea hearing.


Rodriguez, who declined to make a statement, also is subject to an immigration hold, Donnelly said. Given that he'll likely be deported after prison, sentencing Rodriguez to more than 68 months just would be more cost to the state, he said.

In light of the immigration hold, Rysavy said he would slightly modify the recommended sentencing, putting the term at 72 months. The judge also gave Rodriguez credit for about 145 days spent in jail.

Earlier this month, Rodriguez admitted in court to firing a gun during a Sept. 23 confrontation outside of a residence at 1304 16th Ave. S.W. and possessing a 17 grams of methamphetamine and a sum of cash when he was arrested the next day in an Austin apartment's parking lot.

Rodriguez allegedly struck a 24-year-old woman in the face about 9 p.m. at the party, followed her as she tried to leave and fired the gun while yelling at her.

Rodriguez admitted he pulled out a .40-caliber handgun, which was stolen in 2007 from the Cedar Valley Conservation Club north of Austin, and fired the weapon and told others that, in effect, they "might be next."

Another person who was with the victim told police she saw Rodriguez pull the gun from his waistband and point it at them, but another man pulled Rodriguez's arm upward while he fired, causing the gun to fire into the air, the complaint says.

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