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Steven Harris

Man, girlfriend enter deal in shooting case

DA cited lack of evidence for attempted murder


VICTORVILLE • A Barstow man and his girlfriend, arrested in connection with the shooting last month of another person, were convicted Monday of less serious charges.

Jessie Hernandez, 30, was shot in the stomach July 28 and sent to a regional hospital in critical but stable condition.

There was insufficient evidence, however, to charge 45-year-old Steven Harris with attempted murder, according to San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Suzanne Patton.

Harris pleaded guilty Monday to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to a mid-term of two years in state prison, court records show.

His girlfriend, 53-year-old Mary Esparza, entered a no contest plea to a misdemeanor charge of being an accessory after the prosecution agreed to dismiss the felony equivalent, according to court records.

Police contended Esparza arranged to hide Harris at a friend’s residence in Victorville and provided investigators with false information about her knowledge of the shooting.

She was sentenced Monday to three years of probation and 120 days in jail.

Harris was located and arrested July 30 at the Victorville residence. Authorities said he shot Hernandez at the Barstow home of Esparza.

Officers found Hernandez lying in a doorway of a residence on the 600 block of East Fredricks Street suffering from a gunshot wound on July 28.

No one else was at the residence, authorities had said.

Shea Johnson can be reached at or 760-256-4126.

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