Two admit involvement in 2016 Carson City murder case | RecordCourier.com

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Two admit involvement in 2016 Carson City murder case

The alleged gunman in the 2016 Grant Watkins murder has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Reed Skenandore, 22, entered a guilty plea to the two felony charges Tuesday night after negotiations with the Carson City District Attorney's Office.

Jesus Garcia-Manriquez also entered a guilty plea to murder in the second degree, also without the deadly weapon enhancement. Garcia-Manriquez was also charged with felony murder with a deadly weapon, felony robbery with a deadly weapon, felony assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit murder and destruction of evidence, however all other charges were dropped.

Skenandore, Garcia-Manriquez, 19, Allen Garcia-Manriquez, 20, Jonathan Skenandore, 19, Daniel Lease, 21, and Jacob Huttman, 20, were all charged in connection with the Jan. 11, 2016, murder of the 18-year-old Watkins.

Watkins died after being shot in the abdomen in an early morning drug deal-turned-robbery, detectives said. Detectives believe Watkins was meeting Reed Skenandore, Jesus Garcia-Manriquez, Jonathan Skenandore and Huttman around 12:30 a.m. at Blackwell's Pond Park to sell the men three ounces of marijuana when Reed Skenandore allegedly shot Watkins. It was alleged in court during the preliminary hearing Allen Garcia-Manriquez helped drive his brother to the scene and Daniel Lease helped Reed Skenandore dispose of the firearms and clothing used that night.

Four defendants are scheduled to go to trial March 27.

Reed was charged with felony murder with a deadly weapon, felony robbery with a deadly weapon, felony assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit murder and destruction of evidence, however, per the agreement, the other charges were dropped including the murder charge's deadly weapon enhancement. The charges were dropped based on the agreement to plead guilty to the conspiracy charge.

As per the agreement, the murder charge is a life sentence with possibility of parole after 20 years. The conspiracy charge carries a penalty of one to six years and the two parties are free to argue whether it will run consecutively or concurrently to the murder charge.

Reed Skenandore's sentencing is scheduled for May 9 at 9 a.m.