A 27-year-old man who faced a life sentence for firing a gun in the direction of a group of people was found not guilty of attempted murder in San Mateo County Superior Court today, and now will spend no more than five years in prison. Jurors acquitted Ricardo Lucatero of four attempted murder charges and four felony assault charges. However, he was found guilty of four counts of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Had he been found guilty of attempted murder, he would have faced up to life in prison. Lucatero had been in custody without bail for the July 7, 2008, incident in which he fired a handgun at four people. No one was struck, Wagstaffe said. Lucatero pulled up to a house that afternoon where four people were sitting outside drinking beer. He got out of his truck and started to walk toward the house, but the home’s occupant stopped him and told Lucatero to go away, Wagstaffe said. Lucatero went back to his truck and drove away, but returned 15 minutes later and started shooting at the people outside from his truck, according to Wagstaffe. The four people ran for cover and Lucatero drove away, Wagstaffe said. He was arrested about two months later and reportedly claimed he had not been aiming at the people on the lawn, just firing his gun in anger. Wagstaffe said Lucatero’s conviction today means that the jury believed Lucatero fired the gun from his truck, but not that he intended to shoot at the four people on the lawn. Lucatero is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 11.
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