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Elko man granted parole for 2019 offenses

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ELKO – An Elko man accused of a drive-by shooting at a northside Elko home in October 2019 has been granted parole.

Leonard A. Fernandez, 22, pleaded no contest to one count of injuring or tampering with a motor vehicle and one count of attempted eluding a police officer in a manner posing danger to persons or property. He was sentenced on Sept. 13, 2021, by District Judge Al Kacin to 16-40 months in prison and ordered to pay $500 restitution to the victim.

Fernandez was 21 when he was originally charged with discharging a gun at or into an occupied structure, but that charge was dropped in a plea agreement.

Police were called to the neighborhood off North Fifth Street at about 5:15 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 19, 2019. When they arrived they found that multiple gunshots had struck a home and vehicle, while some shots also hit other residences and a second vehicle.

Residents were home at the time but no one was injured.

According to the plea agreement, the shooting occurred several hours after Fernandez was recorded on video holding a 9mm handgun and making threats against the home occupant’s boyfriend. “Various people came forward with alibis for the defendant that they later acknowledged were false,” the document says.

Also charged in the case was the driver, Dominique Orrantia, who was given a suspended sentence by Kacin in June 2021 after pleading guilty to one count of injuring or tampering with a motor vehicle and one count of conspiracy to discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle in a populated area.

Seven months after the shooting, Fernandez was arrested again on charges of disobeying a peace officer and endangering others, driving without a motorcycle driver’s license, and 12 counts of failing to yield at a stop sign or control.

Police said Fernandez led them through Elko on a “medium speed” chase that resulted in no injuries or damage.

According to the Nevada Department of Corrections, Fernandez’s first parole board hearing was in February and he will be released later this month.

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