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Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla was convicted of assault with a firearm when he was 17.
BY TOMOYA SHIMURA / STAFF WRITER
Published: Feb. 27, 2014 Updated: Feb. 28, 2014 9:31 a.m.

Republican Assembly candidate Jesse Petrilla, who is running to replace Diane Harkey in the 73rd District in November, said voters should not judge him based on his conviction as a minor on two felony counts of assault with a firearm.

In 2001, authorities accused Petrilla of shooting a 22-caliber rifle at a group of people who had gathered for a fight. Although he was 17 years old at the time, Petrilla was charged as an adult because of seriousness of the accusations.

“I regret the incident,” Petrilla, 30, now a Rancho Santa Margarita councilman, said. “There were a lot of things that I could have done to get out of it before it escalated to that point, but I was just a young, dumb kid.”

THE SHOOTING

The incident took place in the evening on March 11, 2001 in Auburn, a Sacramento suburb where Petrilla grew up.

According to a police brief in the Auburn Journal, Petrilla was among two groups that had gathered to settle a beef that started earlier in the day.

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