Skip to Content

For Immediate Release

Healdsburg Shooter and Drug Dealer Sentenced to Eight Years State Prison

Santa Rosa, CA | May 19, 2022

Defendant JOAHAN MALDONADO-NIETO, age 21, of Healdsburg, was sentenced today by the Honorable Christopher Honigsberg to eight years state prison for his pleas of “no contest” to two separate shooting incidents, one of which involved possession of drugs for sale.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “Senseless shootings and gun-related crimes put people’s lives at risk. This type of lawlessness simply will not be tolerated in our county. I hope that this eight year prison sentence sends a loud and clear message that my office will vigorously prosecute shootings and other gun-related crimes.”

In the first shooting, which occurred on January 16, 2021, at approximately 4:30 a.m., defendant fired multiple shots at a car and residence located on Laughlin Road near the Town of Windsor. Defendant knew at least two of the residents and the car owner. Fortunately, no persons were injured in this shooting. Defendant pled no contest to a felony charge of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and felony vandalism in connection with this shooting.

In the second shooting, which occurred on February 27, 2021, at approximately 8:41 p.m., defendant fired shots at three males who had approached his apartment complex on Ward Street in Healdsburg. One of the three males was armed and fired a hand gun at defendant Maldonado-Nieto and another suspect as they stood on their porch. They both returned fire, hitting one of the three males in the arm. He received treatment at the local hospital and did not cooperate with law enforcement. Bullets fired in response to the initial shooting penetrated two neighboring residences, both of which were occupied. None of the residents were harmed. A detailed report prepared by Healdsburg Police Department showed that this shooting was gang-related. The Healdsburg Police located two firearms connected with the shooting. Found in the same bag along with both guns was a large amount of cocaine, possessed for the purpose of sales. Defendant previously pled no contest to three felonies in connection with this shooting, including felon in possession of a firearm, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and possession of a narcotic controlled substance for sale. Defendant was on two grants of felony probation at the time, both of which were terminated unsuccessfully at the time of sentencing.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Spencer R. Brady, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Stephen Bussell. Detective Craig Smith of Healdsburg Police Department headed the investigation.

Contact Information: 
Brandon Gilbert 
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
(707) 565-3098