Christopher Samael Sandoval, a 26-year-old felon, pleaded guilty on Friday and was immediately sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting a friend when they got into an argument while they were driving in Santa Ana.
Sandoval accepted felony charges of attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon. He also admitted a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm.
In return for Sandoval’s guilty plea he accepted a deal from O.C. Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner, which resulted in the dropping of a sentencing enhancement for attempted premeditated murder, which would have mandated a life sentence.
Sandoval will not actually spend 15 years in prison as he was given credit for 1,551 days already spent in custody, which amounts to just over four years. That means he will be in prison for the next 11 years barring getting out early for good behavior. As he is 26 now that means he will exit prison at the age of 37 – to dim prospects of ever getting a meaningful job.
Sandoval and his victim were in a Chevrolet pickup in the 1700 block of North English Street in Santa Ana at about 2:50 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2019, when they got into a disagreement, according to the SAPD.
For unknown reasons Sandoval then pulled out a gun and shot his friend, who was driving, in the head, as reported by the SAPD.
Some time thereafter Sandoval got out of the car and he was found an hour later hiding in the closet of a residence several blocks away.
The victim was taken to a hospital and miraculously survived. Had he died Sandoval would have been looking at even more years in prison.
Sandoval pleaded guilty back in March of 2018 to a previous incident which involved stealing a car and driving while drunk. Sandoval was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but he ended up serving more time in jail due to probation violations.
Sandoval could not find a way to be a law abiding resident. Now the taxpayers will be paying for his room and board and medical costs for the next 11 years.