Pueblo family upset over plea deal for son's killer - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo family upset over plea deal for son's killer

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A small memorial now marks the site of the deadly shooting near Bruner Park, that claimed the life of Luis Aguila's son, 16-year-old son, Elijah, in late 2015.

"He loved life.  He was a happy soul and cared about people," said a teary-eyed Aguila.

Police say he had been part of two large groups of people who had gone to the park to witness a fist fight--though Aguila says his son was peer pressured into going.

According to police, 19-year-old Dominik Jaramillo fired his gun at a group of people--killing Elijah.

Aguila says he  didn't think the pain of losing a child could get worse than it already is.

"They say it's either going to make or break you between you and your immediate family--and it sure broke me and my family of 26 years."

But this week, he experienced even more heartbreak during a court hearing.

Jaramillo was offered a plea deal that would lessen the felony charge from 1st degree to 2nd degree murder, which carries a maximum of 25 years in prison.

During the hearing, Aguila begged the judge to reject it

But ultimately, the judge accepted the plea deal.  It's a decision that Aguila says made him and his family feel helpless.

"He should be serving life instead of 25 years.  He sentenced us to a life sentence of pain and misery.  And he sentenced Elijah to eternity in the ground."

Aguila is trying to stay focused now on what he can control, which is keeping his son's spirit alive. 

So the next you drive past the memorial on the corner of Veta Ave. and Van Buren St., he asks that you take a second to think about what it represents.

"Please don't ever forget Elijah James Aguila, and please don't ever be peer pressured to go somewhere you don't want to go."

Jaramillo is expected to be sentenced in May.

He is facing between 16-25 years.

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