Ringleader of Teen Double Murders Sentenced to 30 Years
SAN ANGELO, TX — The Tom Green County Courthouse was under tight security this morning as 19-year-old Gilberto Salvador Reyes, the accused ringleader in the murder of two teens in March 2016, pled guilty. This was part of a plea deal offered by 51st DA Allison Palmer. In return for the plea of guilt for the capital murder of multiple persons, Reyes was to be sentenced to 30 years in the state penitentiary.
According to the grand jury indictment and the probable cause arrest affidavit of Reyes, he was the person in the group of teens who gave the “green light” to shoot 16-year-old Zane Lopez and 17-year-old Juan Guerrero. Both teens were shot in the head. A total of seven suspects were arrested for the crime, three of them juveniles. One of the juveniles had his status upgraded to be tried as an adult.
In the courtroom at 11 a.m. Judge Jay Weatherby meticulously went through the procedures for accepting the plea bargain. Reyes, with a youthful round face and a budding peach fuzz goatee, padded with body armor, stood and affirmed he was guilty and that he waives any rights to an appeal or new trial.
Inside the crowded courtroom were 12 armed law enforcement officers, including the bailiff. Four were stationed at the door. One was directly guarding Reyes from behind where the defendant sat, next to his lawyer Fred Brigman.
DA Allison Palmer asked the judge to admit three victim impact statements into the record. Weatherby studied the statements carefully for several minutes before giving Palmer the go-ahead to introduce the family members who would make the statements in public.
The mother of Guerrero couldn’t get off work to be there, but Catalina Blanco, mother of Zane Lopez, made a short statement. “He had goals,” she said in a shaking voice. “Because of your stupidity, he will never achieve them.”
Judge Weatherby then remanded Reyes into the custody of the Tom Green County Sheriff’s deputies and he was escorted out through the jury room, downstairs through the basement, and whisked away in a Sheriff’s Office SUV back to the jail. He will soon be transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice where he will begin his 30-year prison sentence without parole.
Because of the high level of emotional animosity between parties on the defense and prosecution side, all in the courtroom were ordered to remain seated until Reyes was out of the building.
All left in an orderly fashion.