Defense attorney says DA’s refusal to offer plea bargain to client may be race related – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2020-10-17 16:23:54 –

DENVER – Plea deals have been reached with two of the four suspects arrested in connection with the 2019 murder of Cherokee Trail High School student Lloyd Chavez.

Two other suspects appear to be heading for trial.

The lawyer representing one of them believes that his client has not received a plea proposal because of his race.

“One of the things they cannot do is allow the race of the defendant to play a role in the plea bargaining process,” defense attorney Mike Root said.

He said the allegations were that Gallegos and three other teenagers were buying vaping devices from Chavez and that one of the two people who had received a plea deal got out of the car.

“There was a fight, the gun went off and Chavez was killed,” he said.

Root said he knew the Chavez family were still in pain and that wouldn’t bring Lloyd back, but added that the two defendants who got plea bargains had roughly the same roles as his client.

When asked if prosecutors considered Gallegos to be more guilty than the other two, Root replied, “He can. I can’t get into his head. That’s what he suggests, but if you look at the facts, it isn’t. “

He said his client, a black Hispanic, was in the front seat behind the wheel and another black teenager was in the back seat.

He said the teenager had the gun and found himself in a confrontation with Chavez.

Root said plea bargaining for two suspects, described as blank on court documents, essentially treats them as minors and gives them probation in the juvenile system, while his client could face years behind bars .

He filed a petition asking for information about the district attorney’s previous plea negotiation, to see if there is a pattern.

The DA does not comment on the cases that are about to go to trial, but said, in a legal response to Root’s petition, that “the claims are totally unfounded.”

He said the accused devised the plan, recruited someone with a gun and specifically requested the presence of that handgun during the robbery.

Gallegos’ trial is scheduled for early December.

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