MOSES LAKE — A convicted felon who attempted to dispose of a gun as he was running from police will be spending six months in jail.
Francisco Villa, 22, of Moses Lake, entered an Alford plea in Grant County Superior Court to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and received a six-month jail sentence. In an Alford plea a defendant is not pleading guilty to a crime, but believes they would be found guilty if the case were to proceed to trial.
In mid-March a Moses Lake Police Department officer was on patrol and saw two people, one of whom was Villa, in dark clothing heading east on West Pine Drive toward Central Drive. The officer attempted to make contact with the subjects, but they started running north on Central Drive. Villa ran around a vehicle, started heading back toward West Pine Drive and turned south onto North Clark Road, where he threw a large object toward the back of a residence. Villa then ran across the street and went into a residence in the 300 block of North Clark Road.
“Villa attempted to close the door, however I was close enough to stick my foot against the door and not allow the door to shut. I ordered Villa to stop, show me his hands and to get on the ground,” wrote an MLPD officer.
Villa claimed he was running due to being out late and not knowing it was the officer who was tracking him down. He said he never threw an item into a nearby backyard, but police went on to search the area and recovered a .22 caliber long rifle magazine. The magazine had 22 rounds in it, with an additional round located next to the magazine.
Police also located a modified long rifle on top of a shed in the backyard, which the homeowner denied was his. Due to Villa having previous felony convictions on his record for second-degree assault and first-degree rendering criminal assistance he was not permitted to be in possession of a firearm.
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.