GOSHEN — Speaking quietly, even whispering at times, Jesus Macedo-Perez, 17, admitted he shot and killed Braxton Barhams, 16, during a hearing in Elkhart Circuit Court.
Macedo-Perez, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to murder and agreed to receiving a sentence of 65 years in prison.
Because a plea hearing was held on Thursday, Nov. 14, the court vacated Macedo-Perez’s trial date of Monday, Nov. 18.
Barhams died following a drive-by shooting June 22 near Benham and Garfield avenues. Police were called to the scene at about 6:45 p.m. Barhams was taken to Elkhart General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Elkhart County coroner John White said Barhams died of a single gunshot wound.
Macedo-Perez was arrested the next day following an investigation.
During his plea hearing, Macedo-Perez, with the aid of his attorney, Kevin Milner, confirmed he pointed a handgun at Barhams while riding in a vehicle and fired shots in his direction.
Chief deputy prosecutor Vicki Becker asked Macedo-Perez if he knew Barhams.
Macedo-Perez responded Barhams was “some kid” he knew from school.
When Becker asked if someone else was in the vehicle with Macedo-Perez at the time of the shooting, Milner objected, saying that because of the plea agreement, his client did not have to answer that question.
By accepting Macedo-Perez’s plea, the state removed a criminal gang enhancement.
The enhancement could have doubled Macedo-Perez’s sentence if he was found guilty of murder and if the state proved he was participating in criminal gang activity.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of this story incorrectly listed Vicki Becker's title. The story has been updated and is now correct.