Town of Wallkill man who thought he was shooting a police officer sentenced to 7 1/2 years

Hector Luna’s victim survived being shot in the stomach point-blank but told prosecutors he didn’t want to relive the ordeal if the case went to trial.

Blaise Gomez

Jan 17, 2023, 11:49 AM

Updated 488 days ago


Hector Luna stood handcuffed and in an orange jumpsuit Tuesday when he was sentenced to prison for shooting a man point-blank in the stomach outside of a popular restaurant in the town of Wallkill. 
Luna was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony assault in a plea deal that prosecutors said spared his traumatized victim the pain of testifying if the case went to trial.
“One could argue that no amount of time can anyway make up for what happened to Mr. Miller and his entire family," said Senior Orange County Assistant District Attorney Kellie Gimmer. "These negotiations were entered in with one factor being heavily weighed, and that was the toll testifying would take on Mr. Miller and how that was relayed to me by the family."
Luna shot 50-year-old Charles Miller outside of the You-You Chinese restaurant in 2021.
Authorities said Luna mistakenly thought Miller was a police officer.
“This random act of violence to a victim, who is simply having dinner with his family, and he ends up being shot," said Hon. Stephen Brown.
The Walden father and grandfather was there eating dinner with his family and was outside of the restaurant when he was attacked by Luna. 
Miller survived with serious, permanent injuries. 
His wife, Marlenea, has spoken to News 12 several times in the months since the shooting and was in court during the sentencing. She wrote a victim’s impact statement that was read out loud.
“Mrs. Miller recalled the events as the day. The defendant changed 14 people’s lives forever," said Grimmer. 
Luna’s defense attorney said his client is sorry for what he has done. 
Prosecutors said they would have preferred Luna was sentenced to more time in prison, but that the resolution provides closure to the family without the pain of testifying at trial, and safety to the community now that Luna is behind bars.
Prosecutors say an eyewitness in the case was also charged with perjury for their version of the shooting.

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