ALAMOSA — More for what she did not do than what she did, Naomi Olguin, 22, was sentenced to four years in Community Corrections on Monday for her part in the 2016 Floyd Dale McBride homicide.
District Judge Patrick Hayes sentenced Olguin, who was one of several people charged with conspiracy in the case, to four years in the Department of Corrections (DOC) with the DOC sentence suspended in favor of time in Community Corrections.
The judge referred to a statement made by Assistant District Attorney Ashley McCuaig that he hoped Olguin would think about McBride, 52, and his death as she served her sentence.
“I think that’s appropriate, not from a standpoint that you should punish yourself every day but realize that you are being given an opportunity to turn yourself around,” Judge Hayes told Olguin. “I took into account you were not the one who pulled the trigger but there’s so many things you could have done that you didn’t do. Would it have saved Mr. McBride’s life? I don’t know.”
McCuaig pointed out that on the day McBride died Olguin had assisted two other injured people — her boyfriend at the time, Brian Cooper, who was stabbed by McBride, and Cristo Esquibel, who lost an eye when the shot or shots fired at McBride ricocheted —but did not do anything to help McBride after he was shot by Lonnie Cooper, 43, who has pleaded to second degree murder. Additionally, Olguin did not tell anyone about the incident for weeks afterward, McCuaig said.
McCuaig said this case actually began before the day of McBride’s death, as Brian Cooper and McBride had an altercation one or two days prior when Cooper pulled a gun on McBride. One June 23, 2016, Cooper went to McBride’s residence “to make a drop,” and another altercation occurred, with McBride stabbing Cooper. Bleeding, Brian Cooper went to Olguin who drove him to the hospital, McCuaig related.
Olguin later wound up at the house where Lonnie Cooper shot McBride. She heard one or two shots and heard McBride subsequently pleading for his life. McCuaig added that Olguin saw Esquibel come by with his eye injured from a bullet fragment, and she drove him to a location a block away from the hospital. Esquibel was flown out Flight for Life, and his life was spared, McCuaig said, just as Olguin’s actions earlier had saved Brian Cooper’s life.
Olguin then went back to the residence where McBride had been shot. Olguin was with Lonnie Cooper and Theodora Travers when McBride was transported from the initial shooting scene to the Cooper residence where he eventually bled to death.
After McBride’s death Olguin did not tell anyone about the incident. McCuaig said Olguin did not pull the trigger, and that is why she received a plea offer.
He added that he hoped as Olguin had the opportunity in the future to make decisions that affect others’ lives, she would remember McBride.
“I hope she thinks about the hours it took for him to bleed out before he died, the amount of pain he was in,” McCuaig said.
McCuaig said while on the one hand no punishment would be enough for those who had any part in this, he acknowledged that Olguin had no previous felony convictions and deserved a chance to make amends. He asked for a five-year sentence to Community Corrections, which was not the maximum six years he could have asked for.
Olguin’s attorney Janet Kinniry said there was no indication Olguin had a part in planning revenge against McBride.
Kinniry said at the house where McBride was shot, Olguin was one of at least 10 people who were there. When she saw Lonnie Cooper come into the house with a weapon and was told to stay in the back and not to move, “she was terrified like everyone else,” Kinniry said.
Olguin did not say anything after that day, nor did anyone else for eight weeks, Kinniry said.
“In that time the family did suffer quite a bit, but it wasn’t from some grand conspiracy that everyone was trying to help Lonnie Cooper,” Kinniry said. “Everyone was terrified.”
Kinniry asked the court to consider Olguin’s age and lack of criminal history. Her only previous charge was a shoplifting charge involving an amount under $100, Kinniry said.
Kinniry talked about Olguin’s heroin addiction. Her parents are caring for Olguin’s two children, the first of whom she had when she was only 16, a year before she became addicted to heroin.
Kinniry read a letter from Olguin’s mother who said her daughter was a good person who made some wrong choices, and she hoped that her daughter could still see her children, who missed her.
Kinniry asked that her client be sentenced to Community Corrections rather than prison.
Olguin also addressed the judge. She said she had a desire to become the person she wanted to be and the person her children needed her to be. She said she believed she could successfully complete probation or Community Corrections. She said while in jail she has already begun receiving counseling for her addiction, and she wants to continue that. She added she wanted to get a job and further her education.
Olguin added, “I feel really bad about my actions and I want the victim’s family to know how truly sorry I am for the way things happened.”
Judge Hayes said that while Olguin gave a bit of an apology, most of what she said focused on her, and while his sentence should focus on her, that was only part of what he had to consider. He said she was less culpable than others in this situation, and it was reasonable to believe she was terrified, as her attorney said, and that it would be unreasonable to think she or anyone else would stand up to someone who was armed, like Lonnie Cooper was.
“But you did nothing after that,” Judge Hayes said. “I don’t know how long it took Mr. McBride to bleed to death, and I don’t know if there was anything you could have done that would change that,” Hayes said.