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Erik Burgess, Published September 24 2012

Man gets 13 years in Moorhead trailer park shooting

MOORHEAD – A convicted felon was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Monday for shooting at a man in a mobile home park here in April 2011.

Clay County District Court Judge Galen Vaa sentenced Geraldo Torres to 13 years for second-degree attempted murder, crediting him 258 days for time already served.

Torres, 24, pleaded guilty to the charges on July 31, when he told the court he was trying to defend himself when a man followed him back to the mobile home park after a physical altercation. Torres then shot several bullets at the man inside the Regal Estates mobile home park. One of the bullets hit a trailer occupied by two adults and two children.

“You created a high risk of severe injury or death to totally innocent people,” Judge Galen Vaa told Torres at Monday’s sentencing, adding that Torres’ actions were “reprehensible.”

Torres also received a concurrent, lesser sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm. As part of the plea agreement, four other charges against Torres, including first-degree attempted murder, were dismissed.

Torres must serve two-thirds of his sentence – eight years and eight months – in prison, while the remainder can be served in supervised release assuming good behavior.

The man Torres shot at, who is not identified in court records, told police he had been at the intersection of 12th Street and 20th Avenue South on April 27, 2011, when either he cut off Torres’ tan Buick or Torres cut him off. Both vehicles pulled into a parking lot.

A passenger in Torres’ car got out and punched the victim several times, and Torres hit his windshield with a metal object, court records state.

The man followed Torres back to the mobile home park, where the shooting occurred.

Torres fled after the shooting. He was arrested last December when U.S. Marshals tracked him to his mother’s home in Lubbock, Texas.

Torres was convicted of aggravated assault in 2005, barring him for life from possession of a firearm.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518