3rd Iowa teen takes plea deal in killing near high school

Oct 4, 2022, 9:59 AM | Updated: 10:25 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A third teenager charged with murder in a drive-by shooting death of a 15-year-old boy outside a Des Moines high school in March has agreed to plead guilty to lesser crimes.

The plea agreement accepted by a state court judge on Monday may allow Gumaro Marquez-Jacobo, 18, to avoid prison time for charges related to the March 7 death of 15-year-old Jose Lopez.

Marquez-Jacobo will plead guilty to being an accessory after the fact, providing a pistol to a person under 21 and being a person ineligible to carry a dangerous weapon. The charges together carry a penalty of up to four years in prison but prosecutors agreed to recommend suspended sentences and fines and two years of probation, court documents said.

Sentencing was set for May 30.

As part of the plea Marquez-Jacobo acknowledged he knew the March 7 shooting had occurred and that certain people had carried it out.

“I aided those persons by driving away from a secondary location with the intent to prevent their apprehension,” he said in court documents.

The shooting was allegedly carried out by 10 teenagers aged 14 to 18, riding in three vehicles and using at least six guns from which they fired more than 42 bullets toward several youth standing near East High School, Des Moines police have said. Lopez died from gunshot wounds. His sister and one of her female friends were seriously injured.

Court documents filed last week indicated that Manuel Buezo, 17, and Kevin Martinez, 16, also have agreed to plea deals.

Among the remaining defendants, one is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 17 and three others on March 6. The remaining defendant charged as an adult has a trial date of April 10. Two other defendants aged 14 and 15 at the time of the shooting remain in juvenile court.

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3rd Iowa teen takes plea deal in killing near high school