OGDEN — A man accused in a 14-shot attack on a car carrying his pregnant ex-girlfriend has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, avoiding prosecution on an attempted aggravated murder count.
Mauro Soto, a 19-year-old gang member from Washington Terrace, pleaded guilty Thursday in 2nd District Court to the reduced charge of second-degree felony aggravated assault, plus one count of third-degree felony discharge of a firearm. Weber County prosecutors agreed to drop 12 other felony counts.
Soto had been scheduled to go on trial Aug. 2 and faced a sentence of up to life in prison on a conviction of attempted murder. At sentencing Sept. 2, he could face sentences of one to 15 years on the assault count and up to five years on the weapons discharge count.
The plea bargain came two weeks after Soto’s defense attorney filed a notice in court saying an alibi witness planned to testify for Soto. The woman, who now lives in Idaho, said Soto could not have committed the attack in Ogden on the morning of Sept. 16, 2020, because she claimed Soto was at her Clearfield home until about noon that day.
At a preliminary hearing last December, a prosecutor said Soto’s former girlfriend and a man in the car with her were lucky to survive the shooting.
Police testified that Soto fired at least 14 shots from the passenger seat of a car that chased the victims’ vehicle near the intersection of 28th Street and Washington Boulevard at about 9 a.m.
Soto had broken up with the woman about two weeks before. She told police she did not know who was shooting at them.
Prosecutors entered into evidence photos of the shot-up car, with bullet holes in the seats, dashboard and glove compartment.
Meanwhile, Soto faces a third-degree felony charge of assaulting his cellmate at the Weber County Jail on Dec. 4. Charging documents said Soto became angered when the cellmate would not pick up toilet paper after blowing his nose. Soto allegedly punched the inmate twice in the face, bloodying his nose.