A juvenile who shot and killed a man in March at the Hal Jensen Recreation Center was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Nov. 21.

Fernando Enriquez, 15, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and one count of armed robbery in August for the murder of Jacob M. Allen, 20.

The robbery was committed one day before Allen’s murder and involved an unnamed juvenile.

Enriquez shot Allen in the bathroom of the Sunnyside rec center during a drug deal that ended with Allen being fatally shot in the chest.

Coconino County Attorney William Ring recommended that Enriquez serve 18 years for murder and 10.5 years for the armed robbery, with both sentences being served concurrently, according to court documents signed by Ring on Nov. 20.

“Even with that sentence, the defendant will still get out as a young man with a long life ahead of him,” Ring wrote in his sentencing recommendation. “Jacob, on the other hand, is never coming back and his family and friends must endure that tremendous loss for the rest of their lives.”

Coconino County Division 1 Judge Jacqueline Hatch agreed with Ring’s sentencing recommendations, reducing Enriquez's recommended sentence by only one year.

Enriquez’s attorney Albert G. Freeman attempted to lower his client’s sentence by citing his lack of criminal record and his young age as proof that he was not a danger to society.

“It is submitted that these two events in two consecutive days in his 15 years without any prior convictions are aberrant behavior,” Freeman wrote in his sentencing statement. “Lack of prior involvement in the legal system would appear to be unusual given his background. Psychological evaluations reveal he is unlikely to be a danger to society and is very young with the distinct ability to be rehabilitated.

"Fernando is extremely remorseful to the Allen family, so much so that this concern overrides his concern about his future.”

Enriquez was given credit for time served during the eight months he has been in custody.

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Max Lancaster is the crime and courts reporter for the Arizona Daily Sun. He enjoys all things music and just learned how Kombucha is made.

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