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Suspect in Robert Duncan murder sentenced to 99 years in prison

The county says three other suspects are still pending trial.

MIDLAND, Texas — One of the people charged in the murder of Robert Duncan has been sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Zaydan Logan Hayes, who was 18 at the time, had been charged with capital murder. 

According to a press release by Midland County, the death penalty was reportedly waived by the State. After this waiver, Hayes plead guilty to the murder and asked for a jury to assess his punishment.

The maximum punishment for the sentence was 99 years or life in prison. Hayes cannot be eligible for parole until he has served 30 years of his sentence.

Midland County says at this time there are three cases still pending relating to the case. Larry West, Jr. has been charged with Capital Murder, Rogelio Cadena was charged with murder and Rogelio Vasquez was charged with tampering with evidence.

A fifth teen, John Hayes, was arrested and charged with interfering with public duties, but a representative from Midland County says the charged is not alleged to have any connection to causing Duncan's death.

Robert Duncan died during a marijuana exchange on December 27, 2019 that Hayes and the others were involved in. The others left Duncan for dead and his body was found on New Year's Eve.

Authorities initially investigated the case as a missing persons case. 

NewsWest 9 reached out to Silver Nichols, Duncan's mom, who provided the following statement:

The first words out of my mouth this afternoon, when the sentence chosen by the jurors, was handed down; were “Thank you Jesus!!”
To me, to Robert’s sisters Rylie (16), Paisley (7), Amber (28) & Devin (26), niece, MaKinsley (6), his bonus mom’s: Tammy & Tiffany, to his Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, best friends & the young lady he planned to marry, this is the absolute best justice, here on earth, that we have prayed for. This doesn’t bring our sunshine, Robert, back, this doesn’t change the magnitude of our loss, that we live through day in and day out. There are so many firsts, we have been through without him, and so many more to come. So many plans he had made, undone, because of Zayden Hayes.
We have been grateful for our communities; Midland County, as well as the residents of Atascosa County, who love Robert, and felt the magnitude of his loss too.
We are so grateful for the love of our Heavenly Father, we are so grateful for the citizens of Midland County, who took the time to be jurors on this case, and make their decision based on the evidence provided to them. I didn’t get to hear or see, the things they had to, it could not have been easy for them to witness such evidence. We have been praying for them, and will continue to pray for them. I did not get to tell them every detail of just how amazing Robert was in this life, there really isn’t enough time! I am forever grateful for their decision.

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