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Little Rock man sentenced to 4 years for shooting neighbor's home

by John Lynch | December 24, 2021 at 2:59 a.m.
File photo

A 21-year-old Little Rock man who shot up a neighbor's home two years ago in a dispute with unidentified parties has accepted a four-year prison sentence.

Sentencing papers filed Tuesday show Omar Avalos pleaded guilty to four counts of committing a terroristic act in exchange for the four-year term imposed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims.

Under the conditions of Avalos' plea agreement, negotiated by deputy prosecutor Justin Brown and defense attorney Vicram Rajgiri, six more terroristic act charges were dropped, while Avalos will serve a one-year suspended sentence after he's released from prison. Committing a terroristic act that causes property damage is a Class B felony that carries a 20-year maximum.

According to police reports, Avalos was arrested about 20 minutes after at least 10 rifle bullets were fired into 46 Westmont Circle in May 2019, a rental home in the Meadowcliff subdivision between South University Avenue and Fourche Creek.

The house was empty when police arrived. One caller to 911 reported hearing 20 shots while a second described seeing a man get out of a gold Cadillac at the intersection of Sheraton Drive and Westmont Circle and fire 50 to 60 rounds from an assault rifle. Officers collected "multiple" shell casings from such a weapon.

Another caller reported seeing a gold Toyota truck, the gold Cadillac and a red Chevrolet pickup all chasing each other around the neighborhood.

Officers found the Cadillac about a half-mile away in front of Avalos' home at 4 Hanover Drive and arrested him just after he got out of the car. The driver's door was marked with bullet holes and there were assault-rifle shell casings on the ground next to the car. Inside the Cadillac, investigators found an AK-47 rifle on the floorboard covered by a coat.

Investigators knew the Avalos' house had been shot up about three weeks earlier and had information connecting the incidents to a February 2019 report of gunfire at 51 Westmont Circle.

Avalos' brother, 29-year-old Cesar Avalos, told detectives the brothers had gotten into an argument sometime earlier with two men driving a brown Toyota Tundra. The brothers later saw the truck slowly driving past their house, and Omar Avalos grabbed the rifle from the car and started shooting at the vehicle, the elder brother said.

The people in the truck returned fire and drove off, with Omar Avalos, taking the rifle, following them briefly, Cesar Avalos told police, saying he'd heard more shots just before his brother returned.

Omar Avalos admitted to the gunfire during questioning, telling police that he'd returned fire with his AK-47 after his house was hit by bullets. Police found a witness, 48-year-old Bertral Mack, who identified Avalos was the man he'd seen firing a gun at the 46 Westmont Circle residence, according to police.

Detectives questioned the tenant two days later, and Jesus Hernandez, 44, said he'd been home with his two teenage children when someone started shooting up the house. He told police they'd fled the residence once the shooting stopped. Hernandez said he didn't know why anyone would shoot at his house.

Print Headline: LR man gets 4-year term for shots fired into house


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