Albuquerque, NM – A New Mexico teen was sentenced to just 30 days in jail for fatally shooting a man at an Albuquerque park in 2018.
According to police, Santiago Armijo and his co-defendant, Jeremiah del la Pena, were both 15 years old when they met 25-year-old Larry Desantiago at Tower Pond Park on the evening of March 1, 2018, KOAT reported.
The teens said they agreed to purchase some marijuana paraphernalia from Desantiago, but claimed they ran away from him.
Armijo ultimately used a gun del la Pena was carrying to shoot Desantiago in the chest in another area of the park, KOAT reported.
After the fatal shooting, the suspects ran to a nearby neighborhood, where they attempted to hide the jackets they were wearing at the time of the murder.
They were spotted by an Albuquerque police officer, who took them both into custody.
The teens claimed Desantiago tried to drive away with them in his car before they ran, but prosecutors say the murder was actually the result of a botched robbery plot concocted by the teens, KRQE reported.
Armijo, now 17, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, unlawful possession of a handgun, conspiracy to commit tampering with evidence, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery on Thursday, according to KOAT.
Prosecutors asked District Court Judge Cristina Jaramillo to impose the maximum penalty, which would have kept Armijo in custody until the age of 21.
But Jaramillo said she believes the convicted murderer could benefit from 30 days in treatment at the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center, so she sentenced him to just one month in jail, KOAT reported.
According to prosecutors, the judge did not provide any further explanation for the lenient sentence, KRQE reported.
They have asked the court to reconsider, and are exploring the possibility of filing an appeal.
De la Pena, who was not charged with murder, has pleaded guilty to other charges related to the incident, according to KOB.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in January of 2020.