Man required to serve at least 35 years in prison for deadly Fargo drive-by shooting

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Moorhead man is going to spend at least 35 years in prison for killing a 20-year-old man outside a Fargo McDonald’s.

Miguel Jay Cooley Sr., 45, will have to serve 10 years of probation upon his release, according to court documents.

Cooley pleaded guilty in August of 2019 to the charge of intentional murder.

The district judge originally sentenced Cooley to 50 years in prison on Monday but 15 years is suspended with good behavior, according to the Cass County State’s Attorney's Office.

If he violates his probation, Cooley could serve the remainder of that sentence.

Cooley was arrested in September of 2018 for the murder of Gabriel Perez at the McDonald’s along Main Avenue.

According to the incident report, Fargo Police officers responded to McDonald's for a report of a male who fell off of his skateboard.

When they arrived on scene, officers found Perez with several gunshot wounds and he was pronounced dead.

Cooley’s Chevy Trailblazer was caught on surveillance video fleeing McDonald's and authorities later found a fired .45 caliber cartridge on the floor.