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Court was in session Monday morning and everyone was ready for the sentencing of 19-year-old Hector Cibrian. But the guest of honor was nowhere to be found.

Denver District Court Judge Christina Habas heard lawyers say that Cibrian's family and his attorney both claim to have not heard from Cibrian (second from right) for the past few months. Cibrian was to be sentenced for a felony menacing charge that he copped as part of a plea deal after being charged for his role in a drive-by shooting at a McDonald's on April 3, 2005

One or two of the bullets fired by three shooters that night hit Terra Ramirez, who was at the center of a Westword article published last August. Ramirez is currently serving time in prison for her role in a shooting that she helped orchestrate just a few months later. Ramirez got ten years in prison, although she never fired a weapon. Cibrian faces up to three after admitting he'd fired a .38-caliber revolver toward McDonald's, but he likely would've walked with probation if he'd shown up for his sentencing.

Ramirez wasn't invited to Cibrian's sentencing because the crime to which Cibrian admitted guilt isn't one that the state recognizes as severe enough to grant an incarcerated victim the right to attend.

Had Cibrian shown up for his sentencing, he would've seen Javier Padilla in the courtroom. Padilla has pleaded not guilty to his role in the drive-by and is scheduled to go to trial later this month. Cibrian had identified Padilla for police as the shooter of an assault rifle on the night in question. A third trigger man, who Cibrian told the cops he only knew as "Louie," has yet to be arrested.

Now there's a warrant out for Cibrian's arrest for failing to appear for his sentencing. The district attorney won't confirm if Cibrian is required to testify against Padilla as part of his plea bargain.

Next week Padilla will be back in court to stand trial. If police find Cibrian before then, he may be there, too. -- Luke Turf

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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