The Impala sped away. According to one witness, Barhams said, “I got shot, I got shot,” then fell to the ground.
Medics were called to the scene and transported Barhams to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:39 p.m. Macedo-Perez was arrested June 23 at his home.
In court Thursday, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Vicki Becker said Macedo-Perez joined and was associated with the Latin Kings gang. Macedo-Perez’s gang involvement began when he was 14 years old.
A family grieves
On the witness stand Thursday, Kenneth Barhams said he never thought he’d bury his child. The slain youth’s mother, Jeanette Dancler, also talked about the impact of the murder.
“It’s broken my heart to the point where I didn’t want to live,” Dancler said. “...I never got to say goodbye to my son.”
Dancler said she doesn’t hate Macedo-Perez, adding, “I actually feel sorry for him.” She also voiced a question about her son’s murder.
“I would like to know why,” she said. “Why was he chosen to be killed?”
Barhams’ cousin, Victoria Honorable, also told Macedo-Perez her family doesn’t hate him.
“We forgive you, because if we hold vengeance against you, that’s our soul,” she said. Someone called out “Amen!” from the audience section.
Given the opportunity to speak, Macedo-Perez apologized to Barhams’ family, and started to address his own.
“To my family, I’d like to say...” Macedo-Perez began before he broke down. His attorney, Kevin Milner, finished reading the teen’s prepared statement. In part, it was directed to his mother.
“I should have been a better son,” Milner read on his client’s behalf. “You didn’t fail me.”
Near the end of the sentencing, in response to a question from Judge Shewmaker, Macedo-Perez said he made a big mistake and he can’t take it back.
“Violence is not the answer, is it?,” Shewmaker asked.
“No,” Macedo-Perez replied.