Two Sterling teenagers charged as adults in series of drive-by shootings last summer were sentenced Monday, Jan. 29, in Loudoun Circuit Court.
Eric Pang, 16, and Israel Trevilla, 17, were found guilty in October 2006 of malicious wounding, five counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling and one count of arson. The former Park View High School students pleaded guilty to shooting at five homes in Sterling Park, injuring one man asleep in his Coverntry Square bedroom. Pang and Trevilla set the car involved in the shootings on fire.
Loudoun Circuit Court Judge Herman Whisenant sentenced Trevilla, the driver of the car, to eight years and five years probation.
"You can't hide behind your age," Whisenant said.
Pang, the passenger in the car, received a five-year sentence and five years probation. All of their time will be served through the state Department of Corrections.
"If he's going to commit acts like an adult, than he's going to serve as an adult," he added.
COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY Robert Vernail called shooting victim Carlos Martinez to the stand during Trevilla's sentencing Monday morning.
Martinez, who was shot around 1 a.m., July 19, 2006, took the stand in a wheelchair.
"I had been working from 8 o'clock in the morning to midnight," Martinez said through a court interpreter. "I woke up. Someone was shooting at my door. Someone wanted to get in and shoot us."
The bullet entered the left side of Martinez's heart and damaged his left ribs and intestines.
"Aside from that I can't sleep at night," he said.
Martinez spent more than a month and a half in a coma in the hospital.
"Right now I can't enjoy my life the way I did when I was healthy," Martinez said. "After everyone goes to work, I stay home. I lock all of the doors and I go hide."
Martinez said the shootings not only disrupted his life, but it has affected his family. His teenage daughter, Vanessa, had to take on a second job in order to help with the hospital bills.
"We planned for our daughter to study, but now she cannot," he said. "Right now, we just need a lot of love. We are suffering a lot and on top of that, we are accumulating bills and I'm very worried about a lot of things."
Both Pang and Trevilla, who were high on drugs during the time of the shooting, must successfully complete a drug rehabilitation program and pay the Martinez family $15,000 in damages, during their five-year probation.
THERE WAS A distinction between the teenagers' court cases, Vernail said.
"They participated in the same crime," he said, "but ultimately [Pang] agreed to cooperate [with law enforcement].
Pang read from a previously prepared statement Monday morning.
"I just regret doing all of that stupid stuff to embarrass my friends and family," he said. "By being in jail, it seems like I'm just wasting my life away."
Pang, who turned 16, July 17, 2006, two days before the shootings, said he felt sorry for the Martinez family.
"Now his son and daughter have to work to make ends meet," he said.
Vanessa Martinez shook her head from the front row of the court gallery.
"I think, what if the bullet went a little bit higher," Pang said. "I would be on trial for murder."