MARTINEZ -- A Concord man who fired shots into a bar in a 2010 incident that left a victim temporarily paralyzed has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.

Nicholas Cox, 31, was a parolee when, on March 7, 2010, he left Vinnie's Bar & Grill just off Concord's Todos Santos Plaza after a confrontation, prosecutor Simon O'Connell said. Witnesses heard him tell a female acquaintance, "I want to borrow your car to shoot someone."

Minutes later, O'Connell said, witnesses saw Cox drive slowly past the bar and open fire, with multiple shots hitting the front of the bar and parked cars. A 30-year-old man who was smoking outside the bar was struck in the back and neck, causing injuries that left him paralyzed for 45 days, O'Connell said. No motive was ever established for the shooting.

The victim was able to walk into a courtroom to testify against Cox during his trial. A jury convicted Cox in October 2013 on two charges related to the shooting but hung on attempted murder and shooting into an occupied building charges, as well as charges stemming from a shooting outside the Premier Inn on Concord Avenue later that night.

Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.



Advertisement