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Teen sentenced to 7 years for assault

A Medford teen was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for attempting to shoot another teen and then hitting him with the gun during a fight over a girl.

Shylo Juan Antonio Ramirez, 17, was sentenced as an adult in Jackson County Circuit Court.

He had faced charges that included attempted murder, but he pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault and unlawful use of a firearm in a plea agreement.

"The state is giving you a deal," Jackson County Circuit Judge Kelly Ravassipour told Ramirez, whose hands were shackled to his waist in the Medford courtroom. "It's attempted murder, in my opinion. You're getting an incredible opportunity."

If Ramirez behaves well in prison, he could receive a "second-look" hearing and have his sentence cut in half.

Ramirez was a Central Medford High School student when the crime unfolded on Aug. 25, 2014.

He and the 18-year-old victim, Miguel Angel Estrada Ruvalcaba, had exchanged text messages about a girl and agreed to meet in a church parking lot, according to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

Ramirez and the victim went to different churches and couldn't find each other, but then exchanged more text messages and met up in a church parking lot, relatives of Ramirez said.

Ramirez pointed a 9 mm handgun at Ruvalcaba's head and either attempted to pull the slide back or put his finger on the trigger, but the gun did not fire. He then hit the victim with the gun, according to the prosecution.

Other people were present and got involved in the fight, according to Ramirez's defense attorney, Christine Herbert.

"The others have not been apprehended yet," she said. "Their names are known to law enforcement, and it's likely they will be arrested."

Herbert said the prosecution would have had a difficult time determining which people had caused injuries to Ruvalcaba.

According to police reports at the time, a group of people helped beat Ruvalcaba and stole his shoes. He walked home and his mother took him to a hospital in the morning when she learned what happened. He was treated for head injuries, bruises and abrasions.

After Monday's court hearing, Ramirez's mother, Valerie Michaels of Medford, said she was disappointed her son made the plea agreement.

"I feel upset for my son. I told him not to sign anything," she said.

Ruvalcaba was not present at court Monday.

Phoenix resident Ralph Hammond, a member of Community Bible Church in Central Point, said he hopes Ramirez makes good use of his time in prison. Hammond said he had been mentoring Ramirez.

"God was with him because the gun didn't go off. He has a purpose. The purpose now is to help people understand what's right and what's wrong," Hammond said.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.