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A man whose gunfire during a gangland drive-by shooting in St. Paul killed a pregnant 21-year-old woman has been sentenced to a term of more than 38½ years.

Paul D. Harris, 24, of St. Paul, was sentenced Thursday in Ramsey County District Court after pleading guilty to second-degree murder during a drive-by shooting on March 13 along St. Anthony Avenue that wounded Gabriella N. Dehoyos of St. Paul, who was early on in her pregnancy.

With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Harris is expected to serve the first 25 years in prison and the balance of his term on supervised release.

Harris was legally barred from having a gun because of a 2018 burglary conviction when he was a juvenile. He's also been convicted twice for illegal possession of a firearm.

Before sentencing, defense attorney Mike Padden wrote to the court that his client should receive a substantially shorter term because the car he shot at was being driven by a gang rival "who he suspected of murdering numerous of his associates. [Harris] reasonably believed [he] was on a short list to be murdered."

The defense filing also quoted Harris as saying in reference to the other driver that "it was either him or me. ... I just want people to know that I'm not a monster."

According to the criminal complaint:

Dehoyos, her boyfriend, another passenger and her three young children were in a vehicle when the shooting happened. Dehoyos' boyfriend said he was driving west on St. Anthony Avenue in an SUV when a car approached from behind.

The boyfriend recognized the man driving the car as a man with the street name PaulyP. Investigators later determined him to be Harris.

The boyfriend ducked and turned hard to the left onto Marion Street as a bullet shattered the rear passenger window. Minutes later the boyfriend arrived at Regions Hospital. Dehoyos was unconscious with a bullet wound in her head and died soon afterward.

Police tracked down Harris on March 16 as he drove with his girlfriend into a gas station parking lot in Jordan. He told investigators that his girlfriend dropped him off for work that day at 7 a.m., and he was picked up by his grandmother around 11 or noon. He said he didn't remember anything after that. He did confirm that his street nickname is "Pauly."