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Published June 11 2012

Judge calls theater shooting most 'heinous' aggravated assault in last decade as suspect gets 18 years

FARGO – Felipe Estrada, the 45-year-old Dilworth man found guilty of four felonies in a shooting at the West Acres Cinema last summer, was sentenced to 18 years in prison at a hearing in Cass County District Court today.

Estrada shot Juan Garza, the ex-husband of Estrada’s ex-girlfriend, seven times, but claimed during a four-day trial in March that he was acting in self defense.

Jurors at the trial convicted Estrada on two counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, but spared him an attempted murder charge that could have put him in prison for life.

At today’s hearing, Judge Wade Webb called Estrada’s attack on Garza “a truly violent” aggravated assault.

“This court is not aware of a more violent or heinous aggravated assault in the last decade of this jurisdiction,” Webb said.

Estrada was given credit for 371 days served in jail and will not have to pay any court fees or victim restitution.

Check back later for an update on this story.