DENVER (KDVR) — A 17-year-old has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison for second-degree murder in the death of another 17-year-old, Josiah “JoJo” Gonzales.
Gonzales was shot to death in Ken Mitchell Open Space and Park in Brighton at about 9:30 p.m. on July 12, 2022. Witnesses told FOX31 they heard an argument between the victim and a suspect before hearing gunfire and screams for help. One witness, a nurse, tried to save the teen’s life.
That suspect was identified as Jonah Graham, 17, who pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder charge on Thursday.
“This was an outrageous, violent crime that took the life of a young, high school-aged victim and it was perpetrated by a fellow teenager — who now must serve a 30-year prison sentence,” 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason said in a release. “We should all feel a sense of outrage over a crime like this. Gun violence — particularly among young people — is plaguing our community.
“I am truly saddened by the death of this young man, whose life was taken by a fellow classmate over what was surely an inconsequential dispute,” Mason concluded.
According to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Gonzales was eating pizza with a friend in Ken Mitchell Park when Graham approached, also with a friend. Gonzales and Graham knew each other and engaged in a “verbal confrontation,” which escalated when Graham drew a gun.
Gonzales later died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The District Attorney’s Office said Graham fled the park after the shooting but was apprehended and charged as an adult in Adams County District Court.