A man facing a murder charge pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser crime and received a five-year prison sentence after prosecutors said a key witness in the case killed himself.
Israel N. Davila, 21, of Oklahoma City, struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and the unauthorized removal of a body.
He received a three-year suspended sentence on the manslaughter charge, prosecutors said.
Davila and two other men, Humberto Aguirre and Omar Barrios, were charged with first-degree murder in the September 2010 shooting death of Jose Fernando Guillen, 18.
A fisherman found Guillen's body with a gunshot wound to the head on Sept. 15, 2010, near SE 89 and Sooner Road.
Prosecutors dismissed the charge against Barrios in exchange for his testimony and a brief stay in a juvenile detention center.
They amended the murder charge against Davila because Barrios, 19, of Oklahoma City, killed himself in November after receiving a subpoena to testify against Davila, his cousin.
Prosecutors also dismissed the murder charge against Aguirre, 22, of Oklahoma City, who pleaded guilty last year to the unauthorized removal of a body and received a five-year deferred sentence, court records show.
Davila, Guillen and others attended a party the night of Sept. 11, 2010, and left together about 4 a.m. Sept. 12, 2010, a witness told police, according to a court affidavit.
The witness “passed out” after drinking, and told police Davila woke him about 6 a.m. to say he had killed Guillen.
The witness left to walk home and saw Davila driving away in a black Lincoln Navigator followed by a person in a blue Cadillac, which the witness thought had Guillen's body inside.
Davila later called the witness and said he dumped the body near Lake Stanley Draper, a detective wrote in the affidavit.
Surveillance video showed a Lincoln Navigator and a Cadillac driving toward where the body was found, then driving away.