Crime and Safety

Third teenager, charged with murder in a death of 15-year-old boy near Des Moines school, takes plea deal

DES MOINES, Iowa — A third student charged with murder in March in connection with the death of a 15-year-old kid outside a Des Moines high school has agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.

The plea agreement accepted by a state court judge on Monday may allow Gumaro Marquez-Jacobo, age 18, to avoid jail time for the March 7 murder of Jose Lopez, age 15.

Marquez-Jacobo will plead guilty to being an accessory after the fact, supplying a firearm to a minor, and being ineligible to carry a firearm. According to court documents, the accusations carry a maximum sentence of four years in jail, but prosecutors have agreed to suggest suspended sentences, fines, and two years of probation.

The date of sentencing was set for May 30.

As part of his guilty plea, Marquez-Jacobo said that he was aware of the March 7 shooting and its perpetrators.

“I assisted those individuals by driving them away from a secondary site in an attempt to evade capture,” he stated in court filings.

Des Moines police have stated that 10 teens between the ages of 14 and 18 armed with at least six firearms fired more than 42 shots at several youths standing near East High School while riding in three vehicles. Lopez was killed by gunshot wounds. His sister and one of her female acquaintances had life-threatening injuries.

According to court documents released last week, Manuel Buezo, 17, and Kevin Martinez, 16, have also agreed to.

One of the remaining defendants is set to stand trial on October 17, and three others are scheduled for March 6. The trial date for the last defendant charged as an adult is April 10. Two additional minor suspects, ages 14 and 15 at the time of the shooting, remain in court.

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