Chavez-Silver killer gets life in prison - Albuquerque Journal

Chavez-Silver killer gets life in prison

Nearly two months after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, Esias Madrid was sentenced Thursday to life in prison in the June 2015 death of Manzano High School student Jaydon Chavez-Silver.

The 19-year-old Madrid is already serving a 16-year sentence in an unrelated fatal shooting, and Judge Jacqueline Flores ruled that the two sentences must be served consecutively.

In a brief statement to the court, Madrid maintained that he was not the person to blame for Chavez-Silver’s death.

“I apologize for the tragedy that happened, and that I wouldn’t wish this upon nobody,” he said. “But all in honesty, I’m not responsible for what happened in this case.”

Defense attorney Daniel Salazar, urging the judge to hand down a lower sentence, suggested that jurors convicted an innocent man. He pointed out that Madrid, who was 17 at the time of the drive-by, took responsibility for the December shooting, but always maintained his innocence in this case.

“Justice for Jaydon doesn’t mean maxing out the wrong person,” Salazar said.

Madrid was one of three people convicted in the drive-by shooting, but the only one convicted of murder. Prosecutors said that Madrid and Nicholas Gonzales fired into the kitchen window of a home on Nakomis NE, intending to hit a man who had beaten up Dominic Conyers weeks before. Instead, the bullets hit Chavez-Silver – a popular athlete who was at the home that night.

Gonzales agreed to testify as a state’s witness in exchange for a juvenile sentence. Conyers, who prosecutors said was present during the shooting, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and shooting at a dwelling.

Confusion over jury instructions led Flores to declare a mistrial on three lesser counts that Madrid faced, but prosecutor Penny Gilbert said the state is not planning to retry Madrid, pointing out that the leftover charges would carry a juvenile sentence.

That decision means that Thursday’s hearing all but brings the tumultuous case to a close.

From the beginning, the case was packed full of complications: a 911 dispatcher hung up on a teen seeking help as Chavez-Silver lay dying, two people spent months in jail on murder charges only to see their cases dismissed, witness statements were recanted, detectives were accused of coercion, civil lawsuits were filed and a state legislator resigned.

“It’s been such a long, hard, winding road, and it felt like we were never going to get here,” Chavez-Silver’s mother, Nicole Chavez-Lucero, said after the sentencing.

Family and friends came to the hearing armed with posters covered with snapshots of Chavez-Silver. They begged Flores for the maximum sentence.

“Esias has shown no remorse or empathy for his actions,” said Joe Lucero, Chavez-Silver’s stepfather. “In fact, in the time after Jaydon’s murder (and before) his arrest, he took another young man’s life. It is unfortunate that the wheels of justice were not swift enough to save Esias’ second victim.”

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Chavez-Silver killer gets life in prison

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Hundreds pack Santa Fe cathedral for Archbishop Sheehan’s funeral ...
ABQnews Seeker
Achbishop Emeritus Michael J. Sheehan died ... Achbishop Emeritus Michael J. Sheehan died June 3 at age 83. Here's how he was remembered.
Barelas Park reopens after nearly $2 million renovation
ABQnews Seeker
Barelas Park reopened to the public ... Barelas Park reopened to the public Wednesday with many new features.
New Mexico State Police officer accused of sexually assaulting ...
ABQnews Seeker
A State Police officer was arrested ... A State Police officer was arrested Friday in the alleged sexual assault of a 20-year-old woman while the two were on a New Mexico ...
Solomon Peña to remain in custody, judge rules
ABQnews Seeker
A judge said he could find ... A judge said he could find no conditions of release that would reasonably ensure the safety of the community, despite a defense attorney's contention ...
Proposed rule for public lands expected to have outsized ...
ABQnews Seeker
A coalition of conservation and outdoor ... A coalition of conservation and outdoor recreation enthusiasts is urging New Mexicans to support the proposal. Opponents, in turn, question whether the rule will ...
Green chile cheeseburger review: Griff's Hamburgers
ABQnews Seeker
The green chile cheeseburger tour heads ... The green chile cheeseburger tour heads to the International District.
On the market: A property with "It's all good, ...
ABQnews Seeker
Fourplex featured on two episodes of ... Fourplex featured on two episodes of "Better Call Saul."
Albuquerque’s Al Cabral claims gold in Asian Pacific Masters ...
ABQnews Seeker
"The world is a beautiful place ... "The world is a beautiful place and this gives me a chance to travel," said Al Cabral, 89, who won gold medals for javelin ...
Executive order authorizes up to $100,000 in state funding ...
ABQnews Seeker
With Farmington still reeling from a ... With Farmington still reeling from a daytime mass shooting last month that left four people dead, Lt. Gov. Howie Morales has signed an executive ...