Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Jan. 20, 2021

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Teen sentenced for role in fatal shooting in Hazel Dell parking lot

17-year-old gets range of 3½ to 6 years in juvenile facility in botched robbery

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A 17-year-old boy charged in connection with the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man during a botched drug robbery in a Hazel Dell parking lot in December was sentenced Friday to a range of about 3 1/2 to six years in a juvenile facility.

Terrance J. Busby pleaded guilty in Clark County Juvenile Court to first-degree robbery. He was originally charged with first-degree murder as the getaway driver for two 15-year-old co-defendants, Oriley J. Huynh and Tristan A. Cienfuegos.

The teens planned to rob Vancouver’s Gage Allan Kiser of marijuana on Dec. 10, but their plot turned deadly when Huynh shot Kiser multiple times, prosecutors say.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor James Smith said that after reviewing the evidence and determining Busby was the least culpable, rather than go to trial and potentially compromise the case against the co-defendants, the parties opted to resolve Busby’s case in juvenile court.

Busby received 129 to 260 weeks of detention, plus 12 months for a firearm enhancement. Smith said Busby didn’t fire the weapon, but he’s still liable for the enhancement. He is subject to supervision under the juvenile-justice system until his 25th birthday.

“This was, I think, an extremely poor choice the defendant engaged in,” Smith said.

Cienfuegos and Huynh have decline hearings set for July 10, during which a judge will decide if their cases should remain in juvenile court or be moved to adult court.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies and medics were dispatched about 2:30 p.m. to Pacific 63 Center, 6204 N.E. Highway 99, following multiple reports of a shooting.

The shopping center is home to a number of businesses.

Witnesses pulled Kiser from his still-running Jeep and attempted CPR before first responders arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. Kiser was struck by gunfire four times. An autopsy found he had entry wounds in his left shoulder and two in his back, and an exit wound on the right side of his chest, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Huynh’s case.

Deputies interviewed three passengers who were inside Kiser’s Jeep. The victim’s brother said Kiser was delivering marijuana to someone he had contacted on social media. The brother said Kiser used Snapchat to communicate with buyers, court records say.

The buyer involved in the shooting, identified in court records as Cienfuegos, inspected the marijuana before trying to run off with it. Kiser tried to stop the theft but was shot by Huynh, according to court documents.

Smith said Busby admitted that the teens were planning to steal the marijuana all along.

“This is a tragic affair that’s had a devastating impact on (Kiser’s) family,” Smith said.

Busby’s defense attorney, Sean Downs, described Kiser’s death as senseless. He said his client was the least culpable of the group and that family of one of the co-defendants had threatened Busby afterward.

Busby’s father shared his condolences with Kiser’s family. He told the judge he wants his son to be responsible for his actions but also have a second chance at a productive life.

“I’m truly sorry for the loss of a family member,” Busby said when it was his turn to speak, adding that he will keep Kiser in his prayers and hopes God will bless him.

Judge Gregory Gonzales commended Busby for taking responsibility and said he hopes he gets a second chance at life, something Kiser will not get.

“You need to make something of your life,” Gonzales said.