ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the suspects in the shooting death of Manzano High School student Jaydon Chavez-Silver has agreed to a plea deal that takes the murder charge off the table.
On Tuesday, 16-year-old Nicholas Gonzales-Villasenor pleaded guilty in court to shooting at a dwelling or occupied dwelling causing great bodily harm and conspiracy.
Gonzales is the youngest person charged in the shooting death of Jaydon Chavez-Silver. News of his plea deal came as a surprise Tuesday to Jaydon’s mom.
It’s been more than a year since a responding Albuquerque police officer asked a group of Jaydon’s friends to “Be patient with us because our main goal is to find out what happened with him.”
Investigators said the Manzano High School student was the unintended target of a senseless shooting.
Jaydon was in a kitchen with friends when bullets started flying at the home on Nakomis Drive in northeast Albuquerque.
Since then, Jaydon’s family has been pushing for justice.
Tuesday, Jaydon’s mom Nicole said she didn’t hear it from the District Attorney’s Office, but instead from news media that one of Jaydon’s suspected shooters took a plea deal.
Nicholas Gonzales-Villasenor pled guilty to shooting at an occupied dwelling causing great bodily harm and conspiracy.
Gonzales was already in custody on unrelated charges when he was arrested in August for the murder of Chavez-Silver. He was originally booked into the Juvenile Detention Center on an open count of murder, child abuse resulting in death, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting from a motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit a first or second degree felony.
This plea deal takes those other charges, including murder, off the table for Gonzales.
Last month, the District Attorney’s office dropped charges against two other suspects, 22-year-old Donovan Maez and 21-year-old Christopher Cruz, saying it was not appropriate to pursue the two based on the evidence they have.
Dominic Conyers, 19, is still charged in Jaydon’s death.
Jaydon’s mom didn’t want to talk on camera Tuesday, saying it was a lot to absorb. She sent the following statement:
“We will continue to fight to get justice for Jaydon. No amount of sentencing will ever bring my son back or be enough time for taking his life.”
The District Attorney’s Office has not said whether Gonzales will be sentenced as a juvenile or adult. Dominic Conyer is still in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center.