EVERETT — The mother of a young gang member wept as she sought mercy for her teenage son Monday at his sentencing for his role in a 2015 murder.
Edgar Calixto, 17, stood silent as his mother, Amparo Calixto, told Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair that he was a good son who had made a terrible mistake with people he considered friends.
With defense attorney Gabriel Banfi serving as interpreter, she spoke through tears about how his family will always love him and one day hopes to welcome him home with open arms.
The judge said the case was a “tragedy for everybody,” but nobody more so than murder victim Anthony Camacho.
The student at ACES High School in the Mukilteo School District was just days away from turning 18 when he was fatally shot. The bullet found him when he stepped into the driveway outside a south Everett-area house party Dec. 12, 2015.
Fair on Monday sentenced Edgar Calixto to roughly a dozen years behind bars. That was in keeping with a plea agreement struck earlier in the case.
Calixto was 16 at the time of the killing but was charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime. He pleaded guilty in August to second-degree murder in exchange for his cooperation and a recommended sentence.
Deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson on Monday said Calixto had held up his end of the deal, testifying last month against co-defendant Diego Tavares.
Tavares, 20, was convicted Friday of first-degree murder in connection with the killing. Prosecutors alleged that he fired the fatal shot. The jury’s verdict made clear that while they were convinced Tavares was responsible for the murder, they weren’t sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the murder weapon was in his hands.
There was conflicting testimony about the identity of the gunman who ended Camacho’s life.
Instead, jurors found Tavares guilty of being involved with the murder, at the least as an accomplice.
Calixto faced similar legal jeopardy.
He admitted driving his gang friends in his father’s Lincoln to the scene of the attack. When police searched the Lincoln not long after Camacho’s death, they found a blue bandana wrapped around the steering column.
The killing was part of a string of violence involving members of four local gangs that have divided into two feuding alliances. Camacho was shot just hours after Tavares told his friends that he’d been targeted by gunfire.
The gang members in the Lincoln used social media posts to track their rivals to the party. Camacho wasn’t part of either group, but he was friends with people in the home.
Judge Fair, who had presided over that trial, said the 12-year sentence was appropriate.
Calixto will start his sentence living among juvenile offenders, but he’ll be moved into the state prison system after he becomes an adult.
The judge told Calixto that she hopes he will spend his years behind bars thinking about the changes he needs to make in his life.
His decisions to join up with other gang members and go hunting for rivals had robbed Camacho of his life and the opportunity to make choices, Fair said.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.