San Miguel man gets potential life sentence for attempted murder of girlfriend

Jim Pinedo

A San Miguel man who was convicted of attempting to murder his girlfriend, despite her refusing to testify against him, received a prison sentence on Wednesday of 14 years plus 25 years to life, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. 

Judge Jacquelyn Duffy issued Jim Pinedo, 38, the maximum allowable sentence for his crimes. Last November, a jury found Pinedo guilty of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, inflicting corporal injury to an intimate partner, threatening and dissuading a witness and additional felony charges.

On Oct. 2, 2017, Dancene Cordova was shot in the neck, resulting in her being in a 10-day medically induced coma. After she awoke, Cordova initially said Pinedo, who she had a restraining order against, shot her. 

However, her story later changed. Cordova later said she had been struggling with methamphetamine addiction in the months leading up to the shooting. On the day of the shooting, Pinedo confronted her after he again caught her using methamphetamine, she said.

An argument ensued, and she grabbed Pinedo’s rifle that he left at home despite being a felon prohibited from possessing firearms. Cordova said she threatened to kill herself with the rifle, and Pinedo tried to take the gun away from her. While they were struggling on the floor over the gun, the rifle went off, striking her in the neck, Cordova said.

Cordova was subpoenaed to testify against her boyfriend, but she refused to answer any questions.

During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Megan Baltierra called an expert witness to describe what is known as the “cycle of domestic violence” and its effect on victims.

“It is a troubling reality that victims of domestic violence are often unable to fully escape the psychological holds of their abusing partner and choose not to cooperate with prosecution,” District Attorney Dan Dow said in a statement following Pinedo’s sentencing. 

Dow called Pinedo’s prison sentence a victory for all domestic violence victims.