Jaime Escobedo was sentenced to 20 years in prison in connection to the shooting death of Larry Fuentes in 2018 in Ontario. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)
VALE – Larry Fuentes was eating breakfast at the Los Potrillos restaurant in Ontario with his girlfriend in 2018 when he got into a confrontation that led to his death in the parking lot outside.
His killer, Jaime Escobedo, 44, of Fruitland, last month pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and attempting to elude police. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
According to court records, Escobedo stormed into the restaurant in November 2018 and confronted Fuentes. Fuentes, 38, sat at the table with his girlfriend, Leeandra Garcia, Steven Escobedo – Jaime Escobedo’s brother – and Jaime Escobedo’s estranged wife, Sabrina.
At the time of the shooting, Jaime and Sabrina were divorcing.
Fuentes and Garcia planned to drive back to their home in Portland after breakfast.
According to police reports, Jaime Escobedo began to yell at Fuentes, angry because Fuentes and Garcia had spent the night at his former home in Fruitland.
Leeandra Garcia told police that Jaime Escobedo hit the bill of Fuentes’ hat and “told him to step outside.”
Garcia said she tried to keep Fuentes from going outside but ultimately her boyfriend followed Jaime Escobedo into the parking lot.
There the two men began to exchange punches and then Escobedo ran across the parking lot. Fuentes, according to Garcia, chased Escobedo and grabbed the back of his shirt.
That’s when Escobedo pulled out a handgun and pointed it at Fuentes, who began to run. As Fuentes ran away Escobedo shot him and Fuentes fell to the ground.
Then Escobedo walked up and shot him again.
“Evidence shows at least two rounds were fired from right above Fuentes as he lay on the ground,” according to an Ontario Police Department report.
Police found six shell casings near Fuentes’ body and two “divots” under the Portland man.
One divot, according to police, held a spent bullet while the second divot contained a bullet and clothing fragments.
After Escobedo shot and killed Fuentes he drove off in his Ford F-150 and led police on a high-speed pursuit through Oregon and into Idaho.
According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, “during the lengthy police pursuit following the shooting, the defendant, while still armed, repeatedly told police by phone that he intended to kill himself unless they terminated pursuit.”
Police arrested Escobedo near Sand Hollow Road and Interstate 84 in Idaho.
According to police, when Escobedo was arrested he had a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the waist band of his pants.
Dave Goldthorpe, Malheur County district attorney, said Fuentes was struck by bullets “four or five times total.”
“At least two of those shots were when he was defenseless,” said Goldthorpe.
Goldthorpe said Fuentes was an innocent victim.
“He suffered from Escobedo deciding he was a problem. Escobedo didn’t know this guy from Adam,” said Goldthorpe.
News tip? Contact Pat Caldwell at [email protected]
SAFEGUARD YOUR LOCAL NEWS
Take one action today to help the Enterprise grow and do more for the community through accurate, fair reporting.
SUBSCRIBE: A monthly digital subscription is $5 a month.
GIFT: Give someone you know a subscription.
ONE-TIME PAYMENT: Contribute, knowing your support goes towards more local journalism you can trust.