Macedo-Perez pleads guilty

Hearing for Jesus Macedo-Perez scheduled for 11 a.m. Nov. 14.
Posted on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 14, 2013 at 5:06 p.m.

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.

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