Crime

Lynden shooter sentenced for drive-by as he chased woman in car

A Lynden man must serve 18 months in prison for firing a gun from his car as he chased a young woman he had just drunkenly assaulted.

That night Adrian Martinez-Medina, of Lynden, got so drunk he threw up and urinated in his pants, according to charging papers. (He had turned 21 less than two weeks earlier.)

At an apartment off Aaron Drive, he made unwanted sexual advances to one of his girlfriend’s friends, a 19-year-old woman who was visiting, according to the charges. After that, Martinez-Medina passed out on a couch in the early morning hours of March 1.

At some point he woke up and asked the 19-year-old if she was leaving. She left, and as she got into her car, she saw Martinez-Medina running outside. She tried to drive off, but he jumped into the passenger seat.

Martinez-Medina told her to drive so they could talk, but she refused. So he pulled at her hair, hit her face and put her in a kind of headlock, according to the charges. She honked the horn until the other woman came outside and helped to get him off her.

Minutes later the woman was sitting in her car down the street, and Martinez-Medina drove up to her. He got out of his car holding a gun. She sped off west on Aaron at about 80 mph. He pursued her in his car.

She called 911 around 1 a.m. saying Martinez-Medina had fired one shot as he chased her. Someone in the Lynden neighborhood reported hearing a gunshot, too, around that time. The woman drove about 15 miles as she fled south, before meeting up with a sheriff’s deputy in Bellingham.

Police tracked down Martinez-Medina’s vehicle that morning at Aaron and Bender Road, where he’d crashed into a utility pole. Officers got a search warrant for the car and found 9 mm ammo on the floor. A 9 mm handgun was discovered about 80 feet away in some bushes.

Martinez-Medina was arrested at his home on Sedge Street and booked into jail around 3:45 a.m.

He pleaded guilty Thursday, April 28, in Whatcom County Superior Court to drive-by shooting and assault in the fourth degree.

Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis ordered him to spend 18 months in prison, as suggested by the plea deal. He also agreed to admit guilt Friday, April 29, to driving under the influence, and in that case he will be on probation for five years after his release.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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