A fight that broke out two years ago left former Santa Rosa Junior College custodian Dondiego Hermillo Andrade dead, and now one Lake County man sentenced to prison. All of this began over a dispute from a parking lot ding.
On September 15, 2017, at approximately 11 p.m. at Graton Resort and Casino, James Morgan Lewis Jr. 44, of Lake County, and Dondiego Hermillo “Milo” Andrade, 55 of Santa Rosa, entered an altercation that would prove to be fatal. Andrade reportedly started the incident by opening the door of his Honda SUV into Lewis’ truck. Lewis and his girlfriend, who were inside the truck at the time, noticed the SUV had dinged their truck and began arguing with Andrade.
The scene escalated when a group of men exited Andrade’s SUV and someone punched Lewis in the face, while also throwing his girlfriend to the ground. Police arrived on the scene at approximately 11:30, after being called by an anonymous source. However, by the time the deputies arrived, the violence had stopped. The attacker who committed these assaults was not Andrade himself. According to Mercury News, “the alleged victims did not request prosecution, saying they didn’t know for sure who assaulted them”.
After the police left the scene, more violence broke out between the two parties. The second fight is what resulted in Andrade’s death. Andrades brother-in-law, John Gurrola, was on the scene and gave his testimony during the hearing. Gurrola said that rather than just shoving Andrade, Lewis “ran like a full speed linebacker” when he dealt the fatal blow. He also claimed that Andrade was “defenseless” when attacked. Lewis had no comment on this statement.
Andrade fell to the ground and hit his head on concrete after being shoved. He sustained severe brain damage and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he died 3 days later. Lewis, on the other hand, was arrested at the scene after police arrived a second time. He initially was arrested on the charge of “suspicion of felony assault causing great bodily injury,'' according to fugitive.com. Bail was posted at $50,000, and Lewis was set free. However, after hearing of Andrade’s death, Lewis then turned himself into Sonoma County deputies to await further trial, now facing charges of involuntary manslaughter.
The final hearing for this case took place this summer on July 9, 2019. Information from patch.com states that no plea bargain being accepted in this case. Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner claimed the case was “vetted at the highest level of our office”. The courtroom situation became emotional for both the family of the victim and for Lewis. Andrade’s wife was among those most affected by his death. Lewis broke down in tears and expressed regret over the situation.
The final verdict resulted in Lewis sentenced to 4 years of prison, with the possibility of early release on parole for good behavior. District Attorney Waner exclaimed that “Mr. Lewis behaved badly and impulsively killed Milo and deeply impacted his own family”.
Lewis, as well as Andrade, were both fathers. Andrade worked as a custodian at Santa Rosa Junior College for 35 years and was an usher at a nearby church. His attorney described Lewis as a “good, big-hearted man and a volunteer in the Hidden Valley Lake Community”.