CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Three teenagers pleaded guilty Thursday morning to murdering a mother last year as she waited for a ride to work in northeast Charlotte.
Police said Maria Echeverria de Gomez was standing on Barrington Drive when the teens killed her during an attempted robbery.
Three of the four young people charged in the murder entered guilty pleas in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse Thursday, where prosecutors identified for the first time who they believe pulled the trigger.
Antonio Shine, who is now 20, did not admit in court that he was the shooter, but prosecutors said the co-defendants pointed to him as the one who fired the gun.
They said Shine and a 15-year-old were out with others breaking into cars that April morning and were looking for someone to rob. They found Echeverria de Gomez standing outside of her apartment and shot her.
(Echeverria de Gomez)
Echeverria de Gomez’s family was in the courtroom Thursday, and her husband spoke briefly through an interpreter about the pain of losing his wife.
“I want to let Mr. Antonio know that what he did not only affected my family, but obviously his as well,” Nuan Gomez said. “It hasn’t been easy for me to comfort my 13-year-old son who wakes up at 3 o’clock in the morning crying inconsolably.”
Shine did not say much in court, but did apologize to his family and then briefly apologized to the victim’s family as well. He will be sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
“To the victim’s family, I don’t have anything to say. I’m sorry, that’s all,” Shine said.
The second defendant in the case, A’vonne Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He is only 17 and will be sentenced to less than three years in prison.
A juvenile court judge sentenced a boy who was only 15 at the time of the murder to at least 15 months in a juvenile detention center.
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