A reputed gang member accused of shooting a man during a melee in Villa Park last year has been sentenced to eight years in prison, authorities said Thursday.
Anthony Almendarez, 22, of Chicago, pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and was sentenced by DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman.
Prosecutors said the 32-year-old victim was shot in the forearm during a brawl on the 300 block of North Ardmore Avenue about midnight June 30, 2011.
Several people were involved in the fight and, at some point, a shotgun held by Almendarez went off, Assistant State's Attorney Steve Knight said.
Almendarez was previously convicted of a 2008 drive-by shooting in Addison which also involved a shotgun. As a result, he can't own firearms and was in violation of the law even before the Villa Park victim was shot, Knight said in court.
"Obviously, this guy doesn't get the picture that he's not supposed to be out walking around with guns," Knight said.
Police found the shotgun discarded near the scene of the shooting and apprehended Almendarez about a half-hour later at a nearby apartment.
Almendarez has been ordered to pay $13,000 to the victim for medical bills. He received credit toward his prison term for about 14 months served in the county jail.