Man Who Shot and Critically Wounded Bar Patron in Venice Beach Gets 20 Years in Prison

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A still from a cellphone video provided to KTLA shows a man brandishing a firearm outside the Surfside bar in Venice.

A still from a cellphone video provided to KTLA shows a man brandishing a firearm outside the Surfside bar in Venice.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday that a man charged with shooting and critically wounding a bar patron in Venice Beach was sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

Robert Leo Mewhorter, who authorities describe as a 48-year-old transient, pleaded no contest to attempted murder on Jan. 10.

He admitted to firing a handgun at the victim following an argument on March 7, 2018, at the now-closed Surfside bar located at 23 Windward Ave. along the highly trafficked Venice boardwalk.

Prosecutors later said Mewhorter had left the bar after the initial argument before returning later and opening fire.

He was arrested across the street from the bar the following day, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He told officers at the time that he was offended by something the victim said.

“Those few words spilled over to a physical altercation between the victim and suspect,” LAPD Lt. Randy Goddard said.

“That’s the sad thing about it,” Goddard said. “Over simple words, this turns into a shooting where somebody could have lost their life.”

Nine gunshots and the sounds of bystanders screaming can be heard in cellphone footage obtained by KTLA. The clip also shows a man brandishing a firearm.

The DA’s office previously said Mewhorter could face a maximum possible sentence of 34 years to life in state prison if convicted of attempted murder.

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