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Great Bend man begins prison term for July 2020 shooting
Miguel Alejandro Gonzalez Jr.
Miguel Alejandro Gonzalez Jr

Miguel Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. was transferred to the custody of the El Dorado Correctional Facility Wednesday to begin a 47-month prison sentence in connection with a shooting last summer at Veterans Memorial Park that sent a juvenile victim to the hospital.

Gonzalez, 20, of Great Bend was sentenced March 26 after pleading guilty on Jan. 20 to charges of aggravated battery, a level four person felony, and interference with a law enforcement officer, a level nine person felony, in connection with the July 2020 incident. Additional charges of attempted second-degree murder, criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle, intimidation of a witness or victim and criminal damage to property were all dismissed in connection with the case.

According to Barton County Attorney Levi Morris, Gonzalez was sentenced by Judge Carey Hipp to 41 months in prison on an alternative charge of aggravated battery after reaching a plea agreement with the State of Kansas on the original charge of attempted second-degree murder. The plea agreement included an additional six months for the interference charge after officers determined Gonzalez provided false alibi information during the course of the investigation.

The shooting occurred shortly before midnight on July 18, 2020. Officers were dispatched to Veterans Memorial Park where they received witness reports advising that a Dodge four-door passenger car, occupied by two adults and two 17-year-old passengers, was driving through the park when confronted by a blue sport utility vehicle occupied by Gonzalez, Ashten Michelle Tracy, 18, and a 15-year-old passenger.

Witnesses reported to officers that as the Dodge was traveling south through the park, the blue SUV pulled over and blocked the roadway near 17th Street Terrace. They said the Dodge traveled through the grass along the midway in an attempt to exit the park onto 17th Street Terrace. However, as the car began to turn onto 17th Street Terrace, Gonzalez reportedly exited the blue SUV that Tracy was driving and fired a single shot into the Dodge passenger car. According to Morris, the investigation indicated the bullet struck the hood of the Dodge and ricocheted, striking one of the 17-year-old occupants sitting in the back seat of the vehicle in the neck.

Gonzalez and Tracy were arrested the evening of July 19 and booked into the Barton County Detention Center. Gonzalez was initially charged with attempted second-degree murder and Tracy was charged with aiding and abetting attempted second-degree murder, and interference with a law enforcement officer.

Tracy’s case for the misdemeanor interference charge connected with the investigation into the case is still pending. Tracy’s next court appearance is scheduled in May.