Two Yuba City men pleaded guilty to assault with a firearm charges this week stemming from a shooting in 2018 that left a Sacramento man with gunshot wounds.

Jakiem Halstead and Khai’Sean Smith-Love were arrested last year for their involvement in a marijuana deal gone bad in early-March 2018, leaving one victim with non-life threatening gunshot wounds to the arm and leg. The victim, who was accompanied by two others, was believed to be in Yuba City attempting to sell marijuana when Halstead and Smith-Love allegedly attempted to steal it. 

Police believe both parties exchanged gunfire in the event, though only the victim suffered injuries. Halstead was arrested in March 2018. After a months-long investigation, Smith-Love was arrested in July 2018, along with the suspects’ alleged driver during the incident, Clarence Pierson. 

Halstead and Smith-Love appeared for a motion hearing on Tuesday ahead of their jury trial, which was set to commence on Aug. 20. Tuesday’s hearing was regarding the admissibility of certain evidence at the trial, as well as requests to exclude evidence, which is a standard process. However, before the hearing took place both defendants entered a plea deal, said Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Diego Heimlich. 

As part of his deal, Halstead pleaded guilty to assault with a firearm, with an enhancement for committing the crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang, as well as an additional charge of active participation in a criminal street gang. He was also on probation at the time of the offense for a prior first-degree burglary, so he admitted to violation of probation as well. 

He was sentenced to nine years and eight months in state prison and is currently awaiting transportation to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to serve out his sentence, Heimlich said.

Smith-Love also entered a plea to assault with a firearm, with an enhancement for committing the crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang – both men are reportedly associated with the Bloods street gang – as well as an admission to having suffered a prior strike conviction. He too was on probation at the time of the offense for a prior second-degree robbery, so he admitted to violating his probation. 

His stipulated sentence was 13 years in state prison. Heimlich said Smith-Love will be sentenced on Sept. 9, at which time he will be ordered to CDCR to serve out his prison time.

“Because voters approved proposition 57 in 2016, CDCR is now fully in charge of assigning custody credits and setting release dates, so we do not know exactly when either defendant would get released from prison, or if they will be required to serve out the full sentence,” Heimlich said.

Pierson has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, attempted second degree murder, assault with a firearm, and being an active member of a criminal street gang. He is expected to appear in Sutter County Superior Court on Sept. 16 for a trial setting conference.

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