By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – David Serrano Mosso, 20, of Centralia is facing a maximum penalty of life in prison if he is convicted as charged after his second time in four months being accused of seriously assaulting a person with a gun.
He was arrested this summer after a 37-year-old man said Serrano Mosso pistol whipped him inside his car in the parking lot at Providence Centralia Hospital.
Early last week, a 19-year-old Centralia man said it was Serrano Mosso who shot him in the leg outside an apartment complex on Ives Road. It was a grazing wound and the victim drove himself to the hospital.
Serrano Mosso was picked up by police on Wednesday night at a Motel 6 in Tumwater. He is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and drive by shooting. He went before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court on Thursday, who kept his bail at $1 million, the amount of his arrest warrant.
In both cases, the victims said Serrano Mosso owed them money. The 19-year-old opined to police that maybe he was angry because he’d been trying to collect $300 for work he’d done on a vehicle. The 37-year-old said he’d sold Serrano-Mosso some wheels, which Serrano Mosso denied to police.
Both victims, both Centralia residents, said they either hadn’t known Serrano Mosso very long, or didn’t know him very well.
Charging documents in the new case indicate police found one spent 9 mm casing and one live 9 mm round on the ground at the scene of last Tuesday afternoon’s incident.
The documents reveal Serrano Mosso’s girlfriend was driving, with their 11-month-old daughter in the backseat, when Serrano Mosso allegedly shot at the teen. She denied knowing why he shot at the victim, according to court documents.
Claudia Cruz told police once it happened, she began yelling at him for what he had done and after driving a couple hundred yards told him to get out of her vehicle, which he did, according to the documents.
The case was responded to and investigated by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office because it occurred just outside city limits. According to court documents, it was detectives with the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team who tracked down Serrano Mosso in Tumwater.
Detectives followed a car to the motel, learned who had rented the room and subsequently found their suspect, a 24-year-old man, a woman and the woman’s 14-year-old daughter in the room, according to court documents.
Jorge L. Villagomez Barraza, 24, was charged also on Thursday, with first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke said he is unemployed but is a life-long Tacoma resident. His bail was set at $50,000.
O’Rourke addressed the question of bail the same afternoon for Serrano Mosso.
Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead argued for bail to remain at $1 million, because authorities had reason to believe Serrano Mosso was attempting to flee to Mexico.
O’Rourke said he’d lived at the same Centralia address for the past three and a half years with his wife, her family and their child. Information in his case from this summer indicates he lived at an apartment on Russell Road and worked at Tacos El Ray, both in Centralia.
He had no felony criminal convictions previous to this summer’s case and was participating in Centralia Police Department’s 24/7 sobriety program, which relates to driving under the influence or similar offenses.
While the first case initially included a charge of first-degree assault as well as first-degree kidnapping, it didn’t end that way.
The 37-year-old victim was found beaten and bloody the night of July 28. Charging documents in that case describe the victim as meeting Serrano Mosso to get paid for some wheels, and Serrano Mosso plus another male getting into his car, with Serrano Mosso shoving a pistol into his ribs and telling him to drive out to a wooded area; when he pulled into the hospital parking lot instead, he said he was pistol whipped. His nose was broken.
Serrano Mosso was arrested and held on $500,000 bail, but by the end of September, his defense attorney Don Blair and prosecutors struck a deal. Serrano Mosso made an Alford plea to second-degree assault, was sentenced to even less than the standard sentencing range and then was released from jail.
At the time, Prosecutor Halstead said the deal happened, because of the “facts in the case.”
Last week, Halstead said it was more specifically, conflicting facts.
Serrano Mosso said there was no other male in the car that night and passed a lie detector test, Halstead said. The 37-year-old victim said there was. Halstead said he can’t very well put someone on a witness stand who’s not telling the truth.
Serrano Mosso’s arraignment for the current case is scheduled for Dec. 8.
For background, read “News brief: Centralia shooting suspect found in Tumwater” from Thursday December 1, 2016, here