COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A 20-year-old man will not see the outside of a prison until he's elderly, a judge said Wednesday, handing down a decades-long sentence to the convicted killer in a grisly double slaying of two high school students.
Diego Chacon was sentenced to 65 years plus five years mandatory parole upon his release. He avoided a potential death sentence after a making a plea deal in December.
Chacon was one of 10 arrested in the March 2017 killings of 15-year-old Derek Greer and 16-year-old Natalie Cano-Partida and was one of the two suspects authorities say actually fired the fatal shots. According to court documents, Chacon and Mario Garcia-Bravo drove the two teens to an isolated spot on Old Pueblo Road, offered them a chance to log onto Facebook and say goodbye to their loved ones, then forced them to kneel execution style.
"... Mr. Chacon fired two shots at [Natalie] and saw her fall. He said he believed that [Natalie's] hands were on her head when Mr. Chacon fired the gun. ... Mr Chacon appeared calm, as if he had done this before." -Excerpt from arrest affidavit; account by Gustavo Marquez, the first person arrested in the case
In December, Chacon pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in exchange for avoiding a death penalty trial.
The courtroom was jampacked for Wednesday's sentencing, with the families of both victims and the convicted in attendance.
In admitting his crimes, Chacon didn’t identify the second shooter, saying that after shooting Natalie, he “passed off the gun to another individual,” who then shot Greer. Marquez identified Garcia-Bravo as the other shooter.
Garcia-Bravo will be in court Wednesday afternoon for a hearing. He is the lone person of the 10 to have not pleaded guilty.