Teenager pleads guilty to death of another teen near Iowa school
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A teenager pleaded guilty Tuesday to the drive-by murder of another teenager near a high school in Des Moines, Iowa, and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Romeo Perdomo, 17, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on March 7, 2022, when 15-year-old José López-Pérez died outside East High School. The announcement follows a deal in which prosecutors dropped other charges and recommended a life sentence with the possibility of parole, according to the Des Moines Register. Adults convicted of first-degree murder in Iowa are required to spend the rest of their lives in jail, but judges can give juveniles a chance at parole.
Judge Lawrence McLellan sentenced Perdomo to life in prison with no limit on how long he must serve in prison, telling him: “I hope you use this opportunity to fully understand the consequences you have created, the pain you have created, the grief that you created. .”
Perdomo was among 10 teenagers charged with the death of Lopez-Perez and the injury of two girls. According to court records, at least eight defendants plan to plead guilty, and one has already been sentenced.
Police investigators blamed the shooting on a dispute between members of a rival gang, and video evidence showed the teens got into three cars and drove past a school where they fired at least 42 bullets from six pistols.