New Mexico Offenders

Gerardo Perez

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – A Farmington teenager convicted of shooting and killing a man will likely spend little time behind bars. District Judge Sandra Price ruled Wednesday that 18-year-old Gerardo Perez will be sentenced as a juvenile for the murder of his sister’s boyfriend. Juvenile sentencing carries a maximum prison term of two years. Perez was convicted Jan. 28 of voluntary manslaughter for shooting 33-year-old Benny Sanchez. The San Juan County District Attorney’s Office charged Perez, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, with an open count of murder for the May 16 incident. The Farmington Daily-Times reports a jury found Perez guilty of voluntary manslaughter. State law says if the jury had found the teen guilty of first-degree murder, Perez would be considered a serious youthful offender and automatically would face sentencing as an adult with mandatory life in prison. San Juan County sheriff’s Capt. Tim Black says 33-year-old Benny L. Sanchez died in surgery at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington. Deputies say he was shot multiple times Sunday evening after an argument outside a home on San Juan County Road 3959. An autopsy showed Sanchez was hit in the lower back by two 9MM bullets from a pistol and twice more, one in each upper shoulder.