ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More than eight years after a drive-by shooting killed 17-year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver, one of the men involved in the murder is getting out of prison years earlier than expected. The mother of the victim says she’s upset over how she learned it is happening.
“He would walk in a room and light it up with his personality, or his smile, or his laugh,” said Nicole Chavez, speaking of her son Jaydon.
Jaydon Chavez-Silver was weeks away from graduating from Manzano High, getting a pilot license, and joining the U.S. Air Force, before everything changed on June 26, 2015. Chavez-Silver was with friends at a northeast Albuquerque home when he was killed in a drive-by shooting. Three people were eventually charged with the crime.
In 2017, one of the suspects in the case, Dominic Conyers was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Conyers pleaded guilty to two charges, including conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and shooting at an occupied dwelling. Six years after being sentenced in the case, Conyers is now set to be released from a New Mexico prison early. Nicole Chavez said she learned of Conyers’ early release on Thursday, September 14.
Chavez says the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office initially told her that Conyers’ release was going to take place on October 20, Jaydon’s birthday. “When I [asked], ‘When is the release date,’ and they gave me the date of October 20th, my heart dropped,” said Chavez.
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A spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Corrections told KRQE News 13 Friday that Conyers is actually slated to be released on October 30 and was never going to be released on the 20th.
“Unfortunately, the email that was sent to the DA’s office had a clerical error of a projected release date of October 20, 2023. For that, we sincerely apologize, and this is why we have checks and balances in place – including an audit process,” said Brittany Roembach, a spokeswoman for NMCD.
Following his release, Conyers is expected to serve 2 years of parole and then 5-years of probation. According to the Department of Corrections, Conyers is eligible for early release, in part, due to his participation in prison programs that have helped reduce his sentence.
“He will be on intensive supervision,” Roembach wrote in an email to KRQE News 13. “His conditions of release will include but are not limited to: A GPS monitoring device, curfew, no contact with co-defendants or victim’s family, no drugs or alcohol.”
Additionally, Chavez says the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office missed their chance to tell her about Conyers’ July parole hearing.
“They couldn’t give the common courtesy to make that call and let me know that one of Jaydon’s offenders was up for parole. I was so frustrated,” Chavez said in an interview Friday.
Although Chavez now says she’s grateful that Conyers won’t share a prison release date with her son’s birthday, she’s still upset that he’s being released roughly six years early from his 12-year prison sentence. She says she wants lawmakers to focus on crime victims.
“Don’t make this so political because us as victims are left still celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and special occasions at a cemetery,” said Chavez.
A spokeswoman for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office did not comment on why Chavez wasn’t notified about Conyers’ July parole hearing. The Department of Corrections told KRQE News 13 Friday that in Conyers’ case, the responsibility for notification lies with the DA’s Office. The Department of Corrections also told KRQE News 13 that it’s now working to get Chavez a meeting with the parole board.
Nicole Chavez said if anyone is interested in helping families of victims of crime, they can visit her advocacy page.