ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two men accused in shootings stemming from a 2015 game of beer pong have pleaded guilty, one to second-degree murder, the other to lesser charges, according to court documents.
Esias Madrid, 19, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning before state District Judge Briana Zamora to one count of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. Madrid’s codefendant, Jack Daniel Trujillo, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to three charges, including aggravated battery and tampering with evidence.
Madrid was sentenced to 16 years in prison, followed by two years of parole, according to court documents. Trujillo’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place in April.
According to police, Madrid and Trujillo were partying at a home in a southwest Albuquerque mobile home park near Blake and Unser late on a Saturday night in December 2015.
Arturo Villa and Jaime Acevez were playing beer pong, a game in which teams toss ping-pong balls into cups of beer. Members of both teams bet their watches on the game, and a fight broke out when Acevez refused to give up his watch after his team lost.
Police said that during the brawl, Madrid fatally shot 18-year-old Villa and Trujillo shot and critically injured Acevez.
Madrid’s defense attorney Joe Shattuck said that although he and his client felt confident in their defense, they felt the plea agreement was safer than a trial. Madrid was originally charged with first-degree murder.
“You never want to throw the dice,” Shattuck said. “Both sides realized what could happen and we reached a compromise.”
Madrid is also accused in the 2015 fatal drive-by shooting of Jaydon Chavez-Silver, a 17-year-old Manzano High School student. Online court records show that Madrid faces charges including first-degree murder in that case, which is pending in state District Court.