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Driver in Isla Vista Stabbing Could Have Charge Reduced

Richard Valladares Has Opportunity to Appear Before Judge Next Month


Friday, April 12, 2013

A man authorities believe was the driver in an August 2011 stabbing in Isla Vista has the opportunity to appear before a judge next month and request his crime be reduced to a misdemeanor. Richard Valladares pleaded no contest to accessory to an assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, a felony. But next month, if he doesn’t violate probation in the meantime, Valladares can return to court and ask the judge to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.

According to authorities at the time of the incident, a man who left his apartment to investigate an argument in the 6500 block of El Nido Lane was stabbed in the chest. Not long after, authorities stopped a car matching the description of the suspect vehicle. The three men in the car were identified by witnesses, Sheriff’s officials said.

Two of them are in now in state prison. Authorities believed Fernando Uriarte, 20, was the stabber. He pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon, a knife, with great bodily injury, and to being an active participant in the Eastside gang. The counts add up to two strikes under the state’s three strikes law. He was sentenced in January to five years in state prison.

Abraham Vega initially pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon as an aider and abettor to Uriarte, prosecutor Hans Almgren said. He was sentenced in March 2012 to one year in County Jail with gang terms and gang registration. He was subsequently found in violation of probation and sent to state prison for two years.

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