COLORADO SPRINGS – Teenagers Derek Greer and Natalie Cano-Partida were shot to death in gang-related killings march of 20-17.
Investigators say the teens were shotat point-blank range, execution style over suspicions Cano-Partida had been helping a rival street gang.
Wednesday, for the first time, their mothers got to share their grief in front of a gunmen involved: 20-year-old Diego Chacon.
“There’s a lot of heartfelt emotions in there,” said Cano-Partida’s mother, Tamra Partida.
“To say this is who she was, this was my precious daughter.”
“Hopefully, you know, he understood he took somebody very important from this earth,” said Heather Ferguson, Greer’s mother.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder and now faces 65 years in prison.
“I’m thankful that he’s taking responsibility for his actions,” said Ferguson.
“He is taking accountability for what has happened,” added Partida.
Even though they say no time in prison will ever be enough for Chacon, it’s a step in their process to heal.
“They were precious,” said Partida.
“He was such a good friend,” Ferguson said as she held back tears.
“He was so loyal and loved Natalie and was there for her till the end.”
Now, after this guilty plea and sentencing, they’re gearing up for a full trial involving accused gunman 21-year-old Marco Garcia-Bravo.
“Hopefully we’ll move on with Bravo’s trial,” said Cano-Partida’s uncle Thomas Negrette.
Garcia-Bravo also appeared in court Wednesday.
Attorneys on both sides say they’ll present more than a thousand pieces of evidence, including audio and video.
His trial is scheduled for July of this year.