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Ethan Almaraz sentenced to prison for 2021 shooting

Almaraz was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison for the murder of Jose Hernandez. Police described it as gang-related.

BOISE, Idaho — A Caldwell man was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison, with 32 years fixed, for a shooting in 2021.

Ethan S. Almaraz was involved in a gang homicide that occurred on Sept. 17, 2021. Almaraz, along with three other teens, got into a fight with another group near the intersection of Indiana Avenue and Hillcrest Street in Caldwell, according to the Caldwell Police Department.

During the fight, one of the people pulled out a handgun and fired several times, hitting Jose Hernandez and another 19-year-old man. Both men were hospitalized, but Hernandez later died from his injuries.

After a seven-day trial that ended on Oct. 25, a Canyon County jury found Almaraz guilty of first-degree murder with a gang enhancement, aggravated battery by use of a deadly weapon, and two counts of aggravated assault by use of a deadly weapon.

Third District Judge Thomas Whitney on Tuesday sentenced Almaraz for first-degree murder, aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault. The judge also ordered Almaraz to submit a DNA sample to the Idaho database, have no contact with the victims or their families for 70 years, and pay a civil penalty of $5,500. He will not have any chance for parole until he has served at least 32 years in prison.

Although Almaraz was 17 when he was arrested for the shooting, he was prosecuted as an adult. Three other teens were also charged in connection to the shooting, but have not yet gone to trial.

Credit: Caldwell Police Department

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