Man pleads guilty to shooting Downs Syndrome teen

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MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - Prosecutors say a California man on trial for shooting and killing a teen with Down syndrome agreed to spend 24 years in state prison after hearing attorneys make their opening statements.

The Modesto Bee reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/1jqdK2p) that 21-year-old Richard Maurice Jolly admitted that he killed 16-year-old Eliazar Hernandez. On Oct. 20, 2009, the teen rode in a minivan with his family near Modesto, fleeing an argument between his older brother, Alex Gomez, and Jolly. Jolly shot 10 times at the car, intending to hit Gomez, but he killed the teen instead.

Stanislaus County Deputy District Attorney Beth O’Hara Owen said she had offered the prison sentence to Jolly before trial. He accepted it the day after hearing opening statements, ending the trial. Jolly will be formally sentenced Feb. 19.

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Information from: The Modesto Bee, http://www.modbee.com

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