COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Diego Chacon was officially sentenced to 65 years in prison Wednesday for pleading guilty to second-degree murder after two teenagers from Colorado Springs were executed in 2017.
Chacon is one of two gunmen accused of killing Natalie Partida, 16, and Derek Greer, 15, on March 12. Marco Garcia-Bravo is the other suspect awaiting trial.
Family members spoke passionately about their loss during Chacon's sentencing hearing.
Partida's older cousin spoke up and described her as "the sweetest person" who was "always smiling."
But that smile wasn't seen on the day that Natalie was laid to rest.
"We couldn't have an open casket because her body was so deformed," her cousin said.
Natalie's aunt told Chacon, "What you have done cannot be forgiven." Her father called it a nightmare that he's never woken up from.
A woman speaking on behalf of Derek's family had harsh words for Chacon, calling him a "coward" who stole her nephew.
"I hope you rot in prison because that's what you deserve," she said. "You being the cold-hearted ignorant person ... you still did it. You have made my family drift apart."
Derek's father, Jeff, said his family "was completely ripped to shreds" and that he "completely lost [his] own wife" after the murders.
During the sentencing hearing, prosecutors played an interview with detectives in which Chacon said he was more disturbed about his potential prison time than the murders.
The atmosphere in the courtroom turned heated when Chacon's family started testifying, saying he "was a good kid," and a "loving boy." Partida's and Greer's families were visibily agitated by the statements made by Chacon's family.
Chacon's grandmother told a story about how he never wanted to kill animals as a kid, and she blamed gangs and drug activity for what he did. She said, "He deserved a better chance."
Chacon will receive 671 days of credit for time served toward his 65-year sentence.
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One of the two people accused of shooting two Colorado Springs teenagers in an execution-style hit last year pled guilty and will serve at least 65 years in prison.
Diego Chacon copped to two counts of second-degree murder Monday and admitted to shooting 16-year-old Natalie Partida before another person killed 15-year-old Derek Greer on March 12, 2017. Marco Garcia-Bravo is the other accused triggerman, but his case is still pending.
According to arrest affidavits, Greer and Partida were fatally shot in an "execution position" because of an alleged theft by Partida. Read the timeline of events HERE.
Another person who pleaded guilty to murder, Gustavo Marquez, admitted he helped lure the teens into the situation, and said he, Garcia-Bravo, and Chacon all drove out to the location on Old Pueblo Road, where the two were shot. Marquez claims he stood by as Chacon shot Partida, and Garcia-Bravo shot Greer.
Alexandra Romero, another suspect, told investigators that she believed Chacon's role was to murder Partida, because he was carrying the only gun, and that Marquez was the kidnapper, because he was the only person that could get Partida in the car with them.
Chacon will be sentenced on Jan. 23 and faces a stipulated sentence of 65 years in prison.
One of the suspects accused of murder in the deaths of two Colorado Springs teenagers pleaded guilty to lesser charges Monday at the El Paso County Courthouse.
Gustavo Marquez and Alexandra Romero faced first-degree murder charges for the deaths of 16-year-old Natalie Partida and 15-year-old Derek Greer on March 12, 2017 near exit 123 off Interstate 25. Ten people were charged with a variety of crimes in connection with the killings.
Marquez pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder Monday. He will face 16-19 years in prison for each count, though sentencing will take place on August 6. He also plans on testify against others in the case.
In court, the judge said the sentences for the two charges will run back to back, meaning Marquez will spend a minimum of 32 years in prison for the crimes.
Romero was scheduled to be arraigned Monday, but that was reset for 3 p.m. April 30.
According to arrest affidavits, Greer and Partida were fatally shot in an "execution position." Two other men, Diego Chacon and Marco Garcia-Bravo, are the accused triggermen. In court on Monday, Marquez admitted he helped lure the teens into the situation, and said he, Garcia-Bravo, and Chacon all drove out to the location on Old Pueblo Road, where the two were shot. Marquez claims he stood by as Chacon shot Partida, and Garcia-Bravo shot Greer.
Romero told investigators that she believed Chacon's role was to murder Partida, because he was carrying the only gun and that Marquez was the kidnapper, because he was the only person that could get Partida in the car with them.
Romero told police that Partida was the intended target and that Greer was only murdered because he was present.
Court documents say Marquez gave details about what happened the night Greer and Partida were shot. The incident may have stemmed from Partida allegedly taking a purse from someone at a party. Read the timeline of events HERE.