A year and a half after 15-year-old Derek “Peachy” Juarez-Lopez was stabbed to death in Westcrest Park, the case is one hearing away from resolution. We discovered while checking on court files that all three teenagers arrested after the murder have pleaded guilty – though the murder charge was dropped for one who subsequently pleaded guilty to robbery. That’s the motive investigators cite in the murder, saying that the victim was lured into the wooded park so that marijuana could be stolen from him. Here’s what has happened to the three people arrested and charged a month and a half after the murder, all originally charged with first-degree murder:
–Diego Carballo-Oliveros, now 17: He has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He is expected to be sentenced next week; prosecutors are recommending 20 years plus a two-year sentence to follow for deadly-weapon use.
–Elizabeth Cabrera-Aparicio, now 18: She pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, under juvenile prosecution, and has been sentenced to remain in custody until she is 21, another two and a half years.
–Jonatan Islas-Martinez, now 19: The murder charge against him was dropped and he pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery with use of a deadly weapon. This past Monday, at a hearing that court documents say was attended by family and friends of the victim, he was sentenced to five years and five months, the last two years as the “deadly-weapon enhancement.”