CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – At least one of the teenagers involved in the shooting death of a fellow classmate in Centennial will now be tried as a juvenile. Investigators believe 18-year-old Lloyd Chavez was targeted for robbery by a cheerleader and three other teens because he sold vaping products.
He was shot outside his home last May.
All four teens involved faced first degree murder charges in district court, but the case of Juliana Serrano, a 17-year-old cheerleader at Cherokee Trail, was transferred back to juvenile court.
The probable cause statement from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says Lloyd Chavez was known to sell vaping products — and that Serrano set up the meeting that ended with the deadly shooting.
The Chavez family has chosen to stay out of the media while the case is ongoing. Close friends of Lloyd believe by continuing to talk about him, it will remind others that the impacts of gun violence extend far beyond immediate family.
“We were recruiting him, and we were basically done with everything. He was ready to go. He was ready to play for Regis, and that’s when he was taken from us,” said Elijah Tchilembe.
Tchilembe, a senior on the Rugby team at Regis, met Lloyd in high school. They played rugby together, and despite the fact that Tchilembe was older, he considered Lloyd to be like a brother.
“You work around the clock for each other for 80 minutes, and you work around the clock for each other off the field as well and that’s the relationship I had with Lloyd.”
The rugby season wrapped up over the weekend for Regis, another reminder for Tchilembe of what was taken.
“I was looking forward to him being on the field with me this weekend,” he said. “It’s hard. It’s been almost, it’s about five months almost now, and I’m just sitting here I’m like, what if?”
Just before his last game over the weekend, Tchilembe wrote Lloyd’s initials on his rugby cleats.
“I like that his spirit gets to live on in my rugby career,” he said.
He is still in disbelief, and while he’s working on forgiveness, he also wants justice.
”Personally I would love… I want something good to come out of it. I think the family deserves justice in all means necessary.”
While the case of Juliana Serrano has been sealed because it is now in juvenile court, the cases related to the other three suspects remain in district court.
At the end of October, a judge denied request to transfer Kenneth Gallegos’ case, who was 17 at the time, back to juvenile court. He is due for an arraignment on Dec. 9.
Just before Lloyd died, he told investigators it was Gallegos who shot him, but Serrano claims it was 17-year-old Demarea Mitchell.
Mitchell has a preliminary hearing set for February and is also attempting to have his case transferred back to juvenile court.
The fourth suspect in the case, Dominic Stager, has a status hearing set for this Friday.