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Ferndale murder suspect pled guilty, got longer sentence than expected

MIGUEL ANGEL MIRANDA Source: Ferndale Police Department

FERNDALE, Wash. — Miguel Angel Miranda, age 24, was sentenced after a plea of guilty was accepted in Whatcom County Superior Court earlier this month. Miranda pled guilty to felony charges of 2nd degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and witness tampering. The charges followed a shooting in Ferndale back in January.

Shortly after midnight on January 23rd, the Ferndale Police Department (FPD) officers responded to a report of a shooting at a party at a rental venue. FPD officers arrived to find the victim on the ground outside with 2 gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph’s Medical Center where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Miranda was arrested Friday, January 28th, in Phoenix, Arizona after a vehicle he was believed to be in was identified by an automated license plate reader camera outside of Kingsman, Arizona, which then alerted FPD investigators of its location.

Prosecutors were asking that Miranda be sentenced to 16 years in custody on the murder charge and 1 year each on the remaining 2 charges, all to be served concurrently, followed by 3 years in community custody. Paying restitution over $11,000 was also recommended.

During the sentencing hearing on November 10th, the victim’s fiancé, sisters and friends made statements while Miranda waived his right to make a statement on his behalf.

The court ended up sentencing Miranda to over 21 years (254 months) in prison on the murder charge followed by 3 years in community custody and to begin serving the sentence immediately with credit for time served. This is the top of the Washington State standard sentencing range. The maximum sentence for murder is life in prison.

Miranda has a prior felony conviction for attempted rendering of criminal assistance.

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