ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Michael Koester, the man who shot and killed Raul Gallegos following a dispute, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter Thursday.

In 2022, police say Michael Koester caught his roommate’s daughters and another girl getting intimate in a room with a 15-year-old boy. They say the boy wasn’t allowed to be around the girls. Police say Koester dragged the boy outside, and he called his parents. A criminal complaint said the boy’s father, Gallegos, showed up, and they began to fight with more than a dozen people jumping and out of the fray. That’s when Koester is accused of shooting Gallegos in the chest three times, killing him.

Koester pled no contest to voluntary manslaughter and faces a maximum of six years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Gallego’s widow expressed her anger Thursday. “I just don’t think that’s right. I don’t agree with it,” said Gallegos. Prosecutors explained why they cut the deal and said the case had gone to trial, Koester could have argued self-defense. “What we have in statements of independent witnesses is when Mr. Gallegos and his family rolled up.. that Mr. Gallegos was armed with brass knuckles which is defined as a deadly weapon,” said a prosecutor.

Gallego’s family argued that Koester should serve prison time. “A simple mistake on the son’s end… I think everyone is forgetting how much my cousin’s life was worth.”