ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Xavier Zamora, the teen charged in the murder of a postal worker in 2019, has pled guilty in federal court. Zamora was charged with the killing of Jose “Pepe” Hernandez on his route in April 2019. Hernandez had stepped in during a fight between Zamora and his mother at their home on 98th and Tower.

Police found the 17-year-old Zmora hiding out a few days later in a home about five minutes where Hernandez was shot. In 2021, a judge ruled Zamora’s age and the circumstances of the crimes met the criteria to charge him as an adult.

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In federal court, the now 20-year-old Zamora pled guilty to 2nd-degree murder of an employee of the United States and knowingly using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. If Zamora had been convicted, he could have faced life in prison. Instead, under the agreement, Zamora faces 22 years in prison. An acceptance by a federal district judge is still required at sentencing.