Jose Espinoza Aguilar

Jose Espinoza Aguilar

‘Danger’ pleads guilty to shooting Marysville woman in back

The trial of Jose Espinoza Aguilar was delayed earlier, when a key witness didn’t show up for court.

EVERETT — A man known as Danger has pleaded guilty to a revenge shooting that partially paralyzed a woman in Everett.

Jose “Danger” Espinoza Aguilar, 25, accused the woman of stealing about $2,000 in heroin from him. He put a bounty on her among Snohomish County drug users, offering money and drugs if someone could bring her to him, according to charging papers.

The woman, then 21, asked a friend she knew as “George” for a ride on Jan. 11, 2017, from the Quil Ceda Creek Casino to Lynnwood. They took a detour, to a dark road along the Snohomish River. She demanded to know if she was being set up. The man answered no.

“Danger” was waiting at Langus Riverfront Park. He threatened to shoot the woman through a window, and when the woman unlocked the door, he hit her. She ran. Suddenly she felt like she’d been punched in the back. Her legs “turned to Jell-O.”

According to the woman’s story, on the ride to the hospital, Aguilar told her he’d give her $10,000 if she said nothing to the police. She told him she just wanted to go to the hospital, because she thought she was dying.

“Good,” he reportedly told her. “Just don’t die in my car. Do it in the hospital.”

She was dropped off at the emergency room with a bullet in her spine. In the weeks after the shooting, Aguilar’s wall on Facebook filled up with memes about snitches. He fled to Oklahoma, where he surrendered in July 2017.

In the meantime, the woman regained movement in her legs and learned to walk again with assistance.

Espinoza Aguilar’s trial date was delayed this month when the woman didn’t show up to court. A $5,000 warrant was issued to ensure she testified.

A judge ended the warrant when Espinoza Aguilar entered the plea Tuesday. A first-degree assault charge was reduced to second-degree assault. Espinoza Aguilar faces about 5½ years behind bars, if a judge approves the attorneys’ recommendations.

A sentencing date is set for January.

“Danger” had been known to Everett police for years. He has a record of drug crimes, violating no-contact orders and using a weapon to intimidate. He claimed self-defense when he shot a man to death in 2015. In that case, he served a 16-month sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @snocaleb.

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