15 year prison sentence for Estevan Baquera in the 2016 murder of Vinny Brewer
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Another one of the three men involved in the death of Vinny Brewer on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 2016 was sentenced in Federal Court.
Estevan Baquera,28, pled guilty to accessory to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in federal custody by Judge Jeffrey Viken.
Baquera traveled from Denver to Pine Ridge with Adan Corona and Francisco Villanueva to collect a drug debt from Brewer according to statements made in court.
Baquera said making that trip was ”the worst decision of his life” but claimed he didn’t know of the plan to kill Brewer. He also helped change license plates on the car to help the three escape after the murder occurred.
Baquera’s mother spoke in court and said she keeps the Brewer family in he prayers and said this crime never should have happened.
Brewer’s father also spoke in court and said " you can’t imagine the pain you’ve caused us,”
Viken addressed Baquera saying he believes a jury would have convicted him of felony first-degree murder and taking the plea deal saved his life due to that charge carrying a mandatory life sentence.
Viken also pointed to Baquera just “getting off papers” for a conviction as a juvenile where he was tried as an adult for attempted first-degree murder. Baquera was “off papers” on Oct 14 2016. The homicide involving Brewer occurred on Oct 16 of the same year.
Viken also referred to the homicide as being “brutal” as it happened in front of families and kids on a Sunday afternoon outside of a Boys and Girls Club as basketball games were being played.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sarah Collins says part of the reason Baquera was offered the plea deal was the government’s concern over not being able to convict him of the felony first-degree murder charge because Baquera never pulled the trigger of a gun used in the killing of Brewer. Collins also mentioned how Baquera didn’t take a role in trying to threaten and intimidate witnesses in this case unlike some of the other defendants.
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