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SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – Visalia resident Joshua Lee Arnold was sentenced to 54 years to life in prison for attempted murder and assault with a handgun during a crime spree, according to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

Arnold pleaded no contest to three counts of attempted murder with deliberation and premeditation, and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm on April 9 this year, explained the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

The 42-year-old also admitted to using a firearm in those attempted murders while inflicting great bodily on two of three attempted murder victims, detailed the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

The Visalia man also admitted a 2016 commission for domestic violence that resulted in great bodily injury, part of the state’s three-strike policy, with each plea that resulted from a crime spree on August 17, 2023, according to the SLO County DA’s Office.

This spree happened when Arnold tried robbing a 7-Eleven store in Grover Beach on the aforementioned date at 1 p.m. where he fired at a clerk who suffered a single bullet wound to the neck, detailed the SLO County DA’s Office.

The clerk was transported to the hospital but not before helping authorities with surveillance footage that revealed Arnold’s identity, according to the SLO County DA’s Office.

Arnold later stole cigarettes from Kachi Smoke Shop in Nipomo about an hour later without the use of a firearm at 1:50 p.m. and then attempted to carjack a Ford Mustang at 3:30 p.m. near the Panda Express in the Froom Ranch parking lot in the city of San Luis Obispo, explained the SLO County DA’s Office.

The Vitalia man confronted a 50-year-old San Luis Obispo resident and his 19-year-old son in the attempted carjacking when the father tried to flee before being shot at by Arnold, according to the SLO County DA’s Office.

The 19-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the back and was transported to the hospital before Arnold then fled the scene and officers located him about a half hour later where they arrested him for his various crimes at the San Luis Ranch neighborhood, detailed the SLO County DA’s Office.

Several agencies throughout SLO County helped in the criminal investigations and Arnold will be transported to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to begin serving his term, explained the SLO County DA’s Office.

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