MOSES LAKE - A Moses Lake man was sentenced to more than nine years in prison for accidentally shooting his girlfriend.
Jose Espinoza Jr., 29, was previously convicted of third-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of tampering with a witness.
A judge this week sentenced Espinoza to 113 months behind bars, which includes an 18-month firearm enhancement, according to court records.
Espinoza has filed a notice to appeal the convictions and sentence.
Moses Lake police responded to Samaritan Hospital on July 13 after Espinoza drove his 23-year-old girlfriend to the facility for a gunshot wound to her back, according to court records.
Hospital staff told police Espinoza was screaming down the hallway and into the Emergency Department. Staff said Espinoza “appeared to be on something and was acting manic,” court records stated.
Once the victim was at the Emergency Department, Espinoza left the hospital but returned about 25 minutes later.
“(Hospital staff) began asking Espinoza questions trying to understand everything that had taken place. Espinoza confirmed he pulled the fire alarm at the hospital to get attention. Espinoza also blurted how he shot (the victim) on accident,” police wrote. “(Hospital staff) tried to clarify with Espinoza, asking ‘Who shot her?’ Espinoza replied ‘I did, it was an accident.’”
The victim later told police Espinoza, a convicted felon, had possession of a handgun for about a month before the shooting. She said Espinoza was messing with something in his hands in the bedroom and when she tried to pass him, “she heard a loud bang and felt something hot pass through her back,” according to police.
Police found methamphetamine and heroin inside the home, along with used drug paraphernalia. Prosecutors dismissed a charge of possession of a controlled substance prior to trial.
On Oct. 8, Espinoza called a woman from jail and “explains that without her there is no case against him,” police stated. “He advised her if she doesn’t come to court they can’t charge him with anything.” Espinoza also told the woman to “disappear for awhile.”