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Woman says 1 year in jail isn’t enough for man who shot, killed her grandson

<i>Salt Lake County Jail/KSL</i><br/>Deivi Perez Prado Jr. pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Salt Lake County Jail/KSL
Salt Lake County Jail/KSL
Deivi Perez Prado Jr. pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

By Emily Ashcraft

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    SALT LAKE CITY (KSL) — A Utah woman told a judge Wednesday that a one-year jail sentence for the man who shot and killed her grandson is just not enough.

Juanita Vasquez said their family is not getting the justice they deserve, but admitted that five or 20 years of incarceration would not give the family that justice, either.

Lewis Jensen, 18, was shot and killed on May 16, 2020, at Kings Point Park, 1330 W. Rothchild Drive in West Valley City. His grandma said Jensen wanted to be a social worker and help kids.

“Our family has gone through a lot of suffering, a lot of pain, a lot of anguish. I don’t even know how to bring my family back together because of everything that’s gone on,” Vasquez said.

Deivi Perez Prado Jr., 19, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, as part of a plea deal that reduced the charge from a first-degree felony. The deal also dismissed charges for obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, and discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony.

He was 17 when he brought a gun to a dispute between two groups at a park and decided to fire a shot that would kill Jensen. The two sides met to settle an undisclosed conflict.

Deputy Salt Lake County district attorney Byron Burmester said the plea deal was offered because it was hard to find witnesses to testify about what happened. He said Prado was the only one there that day with a gun.

Jensen’s grandmother said her family was not consulted about the plea deal but were told about it after it had been offered.

“I just feel that there’s no justice for my grandson, no justice whatsoever,” she said. “I know his life was worth more.”

Third District Judge Heather Brereton followed the recommendations of Burmester and defense attorney Stephen McCaughey and sentenced Prado to one year in jail with credit for 166 days he has already served. He was also ordered to serve five years of probation.

Prado stood in a grey jumpsuit between two attorneys before the judge as she told him this was the only chance he would get from the court and said if he does not complete probation, a suspended prison sentence of between one and 15 years would be imposed.

“I don’t think there’s any sentence that I could give you that would really make up for what you’ve done, and I hope you understand the gravity of your actions,” Brereton told Prado.

Prado has already been in custody since May 2020, including some time at a juvenile facility and some time at the Salt Lake County Jail. Brereton said this means in total Prado will spend about three years in custody for these charges.

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