Tuesday, November 01, 2005


University officer pleads guilty to assault charge

Houston - A former Prairie View A&M University police officer pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge for firing nine gunshots at a motorist during a drunken altercation in Houston last year.

Isabel Orellana, 31, also a former Houston Community College System police officer, will be sentenced Jan. 10 for aggravated assault. She is eligible for probation but also faces a possible sentence ranging from two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The state will recommend a three-year sentence, said prosecutor Joe Owmby, chief of the Harris County district attorney's police integrity division.

As part of her plea agreement, a charge accusing Orellana of driving while intoxicated will be dismissed, Owmby said.

Orellana was charged after she had a minor traffic accident in the Montrose area on Sept. 26, 2004, while off duty and in her personal car. A fight ensued after she refused to exchange insurance information with the other driver, Houston police said.

After that man and a friend took Orellana's keys, she fired nine shots at them with a 9 mm pistol but did not hit them, investigators said.

Orellana was arrested at the scene and fired from her Prairie View A&M job a month later. By pleading guilty to a felony, she will never again be able to work as a police officer, public security officer or county jailer, according to state law.


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