Man sentenced to 14 years for 2009 shooting
Online Staff Report
A Rockford man will spend 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges in a 2009 shooting, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said Monday, June 6.
Eddie Garcia, 20, was sentenced to 14 years for aggravated battery with a firearm. He was also sentenced to a concurrent term of three years for aggravated unlawful use of weapons and ordered to serve two years of supervised release (formerly known as parole).
The sentence stems from a March 14, 2009, incident when Rockford Park District officers were conducting a traffic stop at Levings Lake Park. During the stop, officers heard gunshots.
Officers later spotted a man getting into a nearby car. The car fled at a high rate of speed before being stopped.
Officers spoke to a 13-year-old boy who said he was sitting on a park bench with two other children when people inside the car started to scream at them.
The boy fled on foot and told police he heard several gunshots as he was running away.
Horacio Belmontes, a passenger in vehicle, said he fired four or five shots at the children, thinking they were rival gang members.
Garcia was also a passenger in the car. A .45 caliber pistol, containing Garcia’s fingerprints, was recovered. Garcia told investigators he fired a single shot.
Aggravated battery with a firearm is a Class 1 felony with a sentencing range of four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Aggravated unlawful use of weapons is a Class 4 felony with a sentencing range of one to three years behind bars.
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