ELYRIA — A Lorain man was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder in connection to a 2017 shooting of his wife’s lover that began at a business in Avon.
Joshua Avalos, 30, pleaded guilty to an amended indictment that included felony counts of attempted murder, felonious assault and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.
According to police, Avalos went to Technifab on Chester Road in Avon about 8:30 a.m. April 27 and opened fire on 37-year-old Kevin Fenderson in the parking lot, hitting him in the back.
The wounded Fenderson was able to get into his car and drive out the parking lot, pursued by Avalos, police have said. The chase, which drew numerous 911 calls, ended in a crash at Colorado and Carleen avenues.
Joshua Avalos said Fenderson and his wife, Brittany, were having an affair, and that he caught the two “red-handed” his world “came crashing down.”
“My reality exploded,” Joshua Avalos said. “I do understand that this does not excuse my wrongdoing, as it says in the Bible, ‘Thou shall not kill,’ but it also says, ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’”
Assistant County Prosecutor Chris Pierre said Joshua Avalos was aware of the adultery for years.
“It was no secret that the defendant’s marriage was falling apart,” Pierre said. “I fear the defendant gave an impression that he just came into an apartment and, ‘Oh, my wife’s having an affair!’ That is not the case at all. According to the defendant’s own report to the Nord Center, he had known Brittany since they were 15 years old; they had a history of infidelity in their relationship. He reported to Nord that he’d known Brittany was having a relationship with Kevin for years.”
Pierre also said Joshua Avalos attacked his estranged wife during an incident at her apartment prior to the shooting after finding her with Fenderson.
Fenderson was in the courtroom during the plea and sentencing of Avalos, but he chose not to address the court directly. Instead, he wrote a letter, which Pierre read in open court.
“Thursday, April 27, 2017, changed my life. Joshua Avalos tried to murder me, while I was just getting to work,” Fenderson said in the letter. “He openly pulled out a .45 and fired seven to eight shots at my car with one bullet hitting me in the back. As I drove off terrified, Josh continued to chase me, while still shooting at me out of his vehicle.
“At this point, I am driving away for my life, and he now begins to ram my car with his from behind while still shooting. The chase came to an end at a red light when Joshua saw the final opportunity to take me out. He sped up and rammed my car into the stopped cars, but I turned my wheel at the last second so I wouldn’t hit the car in front of me head on. Thank God he was knocked unconscious, and I ran for help while bleeding from the back.”
Brittany Avalos also spoke in court, often addressing her ex-husband directly.
“Josh, I just want to say that I hate you,” she said. “You have destroyed so many people’s lives, starting with your children. You know what you did. You’re not crazy. You know what you were doing. You let your jealousy take over.”
Earlier this year, Joshua Avalos filed a motion to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. After two separate evaluations, Avalos was deemed competent to stand trial.
“First he didn’t remember, then he was insane and now he is admitting everything,” Fenderson said. “This psycho knows where I work and where I live. He came to my job to kill me. Why wouldn’t he come to my house?”
Fenderson and Brittany Avalos both asked Judge Mark Betleski to give the defendant more prison time to allow their children to finish school before they have to move out of state to be safe from Joshua Avalos. Brittany Avalos said: “Eleven years is not enough, but we’ll see how this works out.”
Betleski said he gave Avalos the 11 years in part because he didn’t have a criminal history prior to the incident. Joshua Avalos could have received up to 44 years in prison, and he won’t be eligible for judicial release until serving at least 10 years of his sentence.
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