A Garden City man was sentenced last week in Finney County District Court to seven years in prison, over a year of which he has already served, in connection with the July 2018 shooting death of a local teen.
Andres Chavez and his brother, Anthony, were arrested last summer in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Ramon Enriquez on July 15, 2018. Both brothers were initially charged with second-degree murder.
The complaint in Andres Chavez’s case was amended last month, dismissing his charges and entering the defendant into a plea deal. He entered his sentencing hearing last Tuesday with charges of voluntary manslaughter upon sudden quarrel or heat of passion, criminal discharge of a firearm and aggravated assault with the use of a deadly weapon.
Judge Wendel Wurst ultimately sentenced Andres Chavez to 84 months, or seven years, in prison for voluntary manslaughter, counting the 423 days, or roughly a year and two months, he has already served in prison during the court proceedings. Andres Chavez was also sentenced to one year in prison for each of his two other counts — criminal discharge of a firearm and aggravated assault — to be served at the same time as his first sentence.
Once released, he must carry out a three-year post-release supervision term. He will be added to the offender registration for voluntary manslaughter and felonies committed with a deadly weapon.
In April, Anthony Chavez, convicted of second-degree murder, criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, was sentenced to 355 months, or nearly 30 years, in prison in connection to Enriquez’s murder.
According to testimonies from Mario Esparza-Gonzalez, his sister, Monica Esparza-Gonzalez, and her boyfriend, Cristo Garcia, who were all with Enriquez when he was shot, the Chavez brothers began threatening Mario Esparza-Gonzalez in May 2018, believing that he had stolen an ounce of marijuana from the brothers’ friend, Austin Hernandez.
On the evening of July 14, after weeks with no threats, Mario Esparza-Gonzalez said Andres Chavez called him on Facebook Messenger, both brothers threatening to kill him and his family. Mario Esparza-Gonzalez asked his sister to pick him up, and the siblings rode in a blue Yukon with Garcia and Enriquez back to Mario Esparza-Gonzalez’s trailer at 2970 N. Anderson Road.
When they arrived, Mario Esparza-Gonzalez noticed a white truck he recognized as belonging to Andres Chavez’s uncle’s work vehicle. He testified that he recognized Andres as the driver of the truck. Esparza-Gonzalez, Garcia and Enriquez left the trailer park and turned east onto the bypass, the white truck following closely even as the Yukon hit 120 mph.
On the bypass, Mario Esparza-Gonzalez said the occupants of the white truck began shooting at the Yukon from behind and that he saw gun fire coming from both sides of the truck. Enriquez was hit and Monica Esparza-Gonzalez, who was driving the vehicle, turned off the bypass in the attempt to get Enriquez to St. Catherine Hospital.
Investigators later connected the Chavez brothers to the incident with items of clothing, shell casings and threatening text messages. The day he was arrested, Anthony Chavez led sheriff’s investigator Jennifer Rogers to a shed behind his house, where he showed her a gun and two boxes of ammunition and a magazine. He said he used the gun in the shooting and acted alone.