Two separate shootouts involved
A Warm Springs man, Aldo Inez Antunez, 33, was sentenced Sept. 27 to 15 1/2 years of prison for shooting at a deputy U.S. marshal last year.
The sentence will follow a 15-year term Antunuez is currently serving for shooting at Madras and Warm Springs police officers during a police chase May 20, 2010, that extended from Madras to Warm Springs, and involved numerous officers.
Antunez pleaded guilty July 13 to the attempted murder of an employee of the United States, and last week, U.S. District Judge Garr M. King handed down a sentence of 188 months in prison, followed by three years of post-prison supervision.
The incident began on July 22, 2010, when the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force was on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation to arrest Antunez on an outstanding state arrest warrant for the May 20 police chase.
During that chase, Antunez and Waylon Weaselhead, also of Warm Springs, had fled from police in Madras, who had attempted to stop them for a traffic violation. Police estimated that 20 to 30 rounds of gunshots were fired at them as they pursued the two men.
When task force agents learned that Antunez was inside a residence in Warm Springs, they surrounded the residence and used a loud speaker to announce that they had a warrant for his arrest and he needed to come out of the house.
Rather than surrendering, Antunez fired at Deputy U.S. Marshal Vincent Byford with a high-powered rifle. The two shots narrowly missed Byford, who had taken cover behind a tree across from the house.
"The first shot hit a tree near Deputy Byford's head," according to Scott Kerin, assistant U.S. attorney. "The second shot passed behind Deputy Byford's head and he felt and heard the concussion of the bullet as it passed by him."
"After seeing the defendant raise his rifle again, in order to take a third shot, Deputy Byford returned fire and struck the defendant in the torso," Kerin noted. "Shortly thereafter, the defendant crawled out of the house and surrendered."
Calling the defendant a "violent gang member," King said that the case was the "most egregious" he had seen since becoming a federal judge.
King said that Byford was very fortunate to be alive, since Antunez "clearly has no respect for human life."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, and the Warm Springs Police Department investigated the case, and assistant U.S. attorneys Scott Kerin and Craig Gabriel prosecuted the case.