Vancouver man, woman sentenced in drive-by shooting

2012 incident was gang-related, left one man wounded




A Vancouver man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 15 years in prison for an August 2012 drive-by shooting in which another man was struck twice in the right ankle in Vancouver’s Maplewood neighborhood. A Vancouver woman, who was the driver during the shooting, was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison.

Gregorio Robert Chavez, 22, pleaded guilty Nov. 20 in Clark County Superior Court to first-degree assault and faced up to about 17 years for the crime.

The driver, Connie C. Gadberry, 21, pleaded guilty April 1 to a reduced charge — one count of drive-by shooting. She had been charged with first-degree assault, which would have carried a sentence of about 16 to 19 years. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Camara Banfield agreed to dismiss the more serious charge in exchange for Gadberry’s guilty plea.

A third man in the vehicle with Chavez and Gadberry — 22-year-old Stefan A. Duran — pleaded guilty Dec. 6 to one count of drive-by shooting and was sentenced the same day to six years in prison.

Chavez, a Surenos street gang member who goes by the name “Frost,” shot the victim, Jose Reyes, in the right leg on Aug. 24, 2012.

Court documents indicate the motive for the shooting was revenge following a fight between two groups of gang members.

A police investigation showed that Gadberry, Duran and Chavez drove past Reyes in a vehicle on East 18th Street near Norris Road and words were exchanged. Chavez then shot Reyes.

Vancouver police were called just after midnight to the scene near a cluster of apartments at 3305 E. 18th St. At least two apartments were damaged during the shooting, Banfield said. There were bullet holes in a window and in some drywall, she said.

Chavez’ attorney, Ed Dunkerly, said his client could have argued that the shooting was in self-defense. He accepted the plea offer to avoid the possibility of being convicted of attempted first-degree murder, which was the original charge he faced, Dunkerly said.

Gadberry, Duran and Chavez fled to California “until things settled down,” according to court documents. They were apprehended while driving a stolen vehicle in Madera, Calif. Chavez fought extradition and was returned to Clark County in December 2012; Duran and Gadberry returned willingly.

Gadberry’s attorney, Louis Byrd Jr., said his client was heavily involved in methamphetamine at the time of the crime.

She said on Wednesday that she regrets her crime. She asked Reyes for forgiveness and pledged to Judge Robert Lewis that she wanted to change her life while in prison.

All three defendants have been in jail since their arrest in August.