Six deny murder charges in Carson pot deal shooting | RecordCourier.com

Six deny murder charges in Carson pot deal shooting

by Taylor Pettaway
tpettaway@nevadaappeal.com

Carson City SWAT retreats after making arrests in January in the murder of Grant Watkins.

Carson City, Nev. — Six men denied charges on Tuesday in connection with the Jan. 11 slaying of 18-year-old Carson City resident Grant Watkins.

Reed Skenandore, 21; Jesus Garcia-Manriquez, 18; Allen Garcia-Manriquez, 19; Jonathan Skenandore, 18; Daniel Lease, 20; and Jacob Huttman, 19 are all entered not guilty pleas during their arraignment in Carson City District Court.

Watkins was killed after being shot in the abdomen in an early morning drug deal-turned-robbery, detectives said. Detectives believe Watkins was meeting with Reed Skenandore, Jesus Garcia-Manriquez, Keenan Blackmore, Jonathan Skenandore and Huttman around 12:30 a.m. at Blackwell's Pond Park to sell the men 3 ounces of marijuana when Reed Skenandore allegedly shot Watkins. It was alleged in court during the preliminary hearing earlier this month that 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.

Reed Skenandore, Jesus Garcia-Manriquez and Jacob Huttman are 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. Jonathan Skenandore was originally charged with conspiracy and accessory charges related to the incident, but the District Attorney amended the charges after the preliminary hearing to 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 as well. Allen Garcia-Manriquez is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, accessory to murder and accessory to robbery and Daniel Lease was charged with accessory to murder and accessory to robbery.

The court set a 20-day trial from Sept. 7 to Oct. 12.

Due to the number of defendants, attorneys felt the trial would be a minimum of three to four weeks total. However, not all may be going to trial as it was implied the District Attorney's Office may try to strike plea deals with some of the defendants.

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Two others also were arrested in connection with the murder: Keenan Blackmore, who was at the scene and testified against the defendants in the preliminary hearing and a 17-year-old juvenile who was also at the scene.