Wrap up of Carlos Maldonado Case

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

LOVINGTON, NM- A Lovington jury, in the Lea County Courthouse decided the death of 11-year-old Lawrence Juarez, last year was voluntary manslaughter and not murder on Friday night.

The jury found Carlos Maldonado guilty of voluntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence. A judge, could sentence Maldonado to up to five and half years in prison, on December 17th.

Police say Juarez was sitting inside an SUV with his father and his father's girlfriend when Maldonado opened fire. Juarez died of a single bullet wound to the head. Assistant District Attorney Laura Castillo, says the family has mixed emotions about the verdict.

"Very emotional, everyone in the family is very emotional, and they have been cooperative with the prosecution of this matter," Castillo said, "When I talked to them about the alternatives of what could happen, they seemed to be fine with this. They just wanted some kind of closure, and I think we got that today."

Castillo says she will push for the maximum sentence next month.