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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

19-year-old sentenced for June drive-by shooting, robbery

A 19-year-old man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for a drive-by shooting in Spokane and a robbery in Millwood over the summer.

Ozzy Tarter pleaded guilty to the drive-by shooting charge Friday and a second-degree robbery charge Monday in Spokane County Superior Court.

Spokane police were called to two drive-by shootings the morning of June 24 near the 2400 block of North Dakota Street, according to police.

In the second shooting, multiple rounds struck a residence with people inside, according to court documents. One of the bullets entered the wall of the house, and debris from the wall cut one of the residents’ cheeks.

About 30 minutes after the second shooting, police were called to a car crash near East Francis Avenue and North Crestline Street. One of the vehicles involved was determined to be the suspect vehicle in the second shooting, police said.

Police contacted three suspects: Tarter, 19-year-old Joshua Gould and 16-year-old Dezmen Belgarde, who’s being charged as an adult. Officers recovered two firearms at the scene and determined the vehicle was stolen.

Gould was in the front passenger seat of the crashed vehicle, and a black handgun was found in his sweatshirt, court records show. The car matched the description of the vehicle involved in both shootings, police said in documents.

Spokane County deputy prosecutor Jonathan Degen wrote in an email it would have been difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Tarter was in the car during the shootings and that he fired a gun. Degen said the robbery case was “much stronger” against Tarter than the drive-by shooting case.

Tarter pleaded guilty to drive-by shooting in exchange for reducing the first-degree robbery charge to second-degree robbery for the June 15 incident at Millwood Grocery and Spirits, 3409 N. Argonne Road, Degen said.

Tarter will serve 18 months of community custody when he is released.

Gould faces multiple assault and drive-by shooting charges. He also faces first-degree robbery for the Millwood incident with Tarter. He is set for trial Jan. 2 in both cases.

Belgarde faces assault, drive-by shooting, vehicular assault and unlawful possession of a firearm charges. He is scheduled for trial Jan. 8.