In Suffolk Superior Court yesterday, Enrique Baez pled guilty to the shooting death of Cheyenne Baez. Judge Margaret Hinkle sentenced him to five years in Suffolk County House of Correction. 2.5 years of the sentence is for involuntary manslaughter, 6 months is for marijuana possession, and the remaining two years is for the illegal possession of two handguns. Enrique and Cheyenne were not related, but they were friends.
According to Boston police and investigators, Enrique, Cheyenne, and two other males were in Enrique’s apartment in Jamaica Planes on April 8, 2007. Enrique, 17-years-old at the time, had two guns. One of them was loaded, the other one wasn’t. While playing with the loaded gun, it went off. The bullet hit Cheyenne in the eye and killed him.
While on the stand, Enrique apologized for the murder and claimed that the shooting was an accident. Relatives of Cheyenne have expressed outrage at the five-year sentence, claiming that his death was murder and not an accident.
Judge Hinkle, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney John E. Powers III, and Boston police, however, are all in agreement that the evidence showed that the shooting was accidental.
Enrique had initially been charged with manslaughter. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Relatives of victim decry jail sentence, Boston.com, February 12, 2008
Teen charged with manslaughter after friend is shot, Boston.com, April 10, 2007
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Massachusetts Homicide Law
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