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DA winds up three major cases

"Everything you've seen here today involved the use or abuse of alcohol and/or drugs," said Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell following three separate court actions on Monday.

In back-to-back cases, three individuals pled guilty for causing serious injury to others by their involvement with these substances.

Stefani Baucom, 19, of Hood River admitted to culpability in the June 28 heroin/cocaine overdose death of 15-year-old Chloe Walters.

Samuel K.S. Bishop, 22, of Rowena acknowledged that he broke into a Peach Tree Drive residence on Aug. 1 and participated in an assault on visitor, Donald Dufour, 39.

Armando Cruz Macias, 38, of Mexico accepted an assault charge for shooting Juan Carlos Guiterrez, 23, five times with a handgun on Sept. 14 at a worker camp along the Dee Highway.

Baucom was sentenced for possession of a controlled substance and ordered to serve 20 days in jail, followed by 18 months of probation and 160 hours of community service. She was directed to continue drug treatment counseling and visit the court two times each month to relay her progress. In addition, she was fined $2,200 to help the victim's family pay funeral expenses and instructed to write an essay explaining how she got into drug use and what lessons she had learned from Walters' death.

Baucom and William Young, 19, admitted that they helped Walters obtain the illicit substances that were then used at the Young residence in Parkdale. The next day Walters was found dead and both Baucom and Young, who was previously sentenced on Sept. 12, voluntarily entered drug treatment programs.

Because of an extensive criminal background, Bishop was ordered to spend 28 months in prison, followed by 36 months of post-prison supervision. He was also directed to pay $1,000 of the victim's medical bills. His conviction followed last week's related sentencing of James E. Paulk, Jr., 23, from The Dalles.

According to witness statements, Bishop and Paulk stormed into the Peach Tree Drive residence and Paulk wielded the bat which cracked open the skull of resident Clifton Adams, 41. On Oct. 11 he was ordered to serve 60 months in prison, followed by three years of post-prison supervision. In addition, he will pay $1,000 of Adam's medical bills to repair the injury.

Sewell said, according to police sources, that incident occurred over a methamphetamine deal that went awry. Aaron Hightower, 22, of Hood River was also sentenced on Oct. 2 for giving false information to police in connection with the incident.

Macias, who faces permanent deportation from the U.S., will first serve a prison sentence of 90 months. Sewell said witnesses told police that Macias and Guiterrez had both been drinking when they got into a verbal altercation that escalated into gunshots that may have left Guiterrez with permanent spinal injuries. According to officer statements, at the time of his arrest Macias admitted to the crime but seemed "pleased" about the incident.

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