OGDEN — An 18-year-old was sent to prison Thursday morning in connection with the shooting death of an Ogden woman in 2017.
Though a defense attorney and a prosecutor agreed Trevon Jordan Zamora didn’t fire a gun, the teen was nonetheless sent to prison for a term of five years to life.
Zamora was one of two 16-year-olds charged as an adult with murder in 2017. At first, Zamora was charged with one count of murder, a first-degree felony, but entered into a plea agreement in July, which included him pleading guilty to one count of felony discharge of a firearm, a first-degree felony.
The other teen charged, Daniel Garcia, was also charged with murder, though he recently pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: one count of attempted aggravated murder.
The two were arrested after the shooting death of 47-year-old Ogden woman Maria Sanchez, who was shot and killed in her home while she slept on Aug. 13, 2017.
On Thursday, defense attorney Edward Stone acknowledged there are still a number of “question marks” in the case, but the best evidence suggests that Zamora acted as a lookout while Garcia and another teen, who was not charged in connection with the shooting, approached the Sanchez home. However, Stone said that did not excuse Zamora’s actions that night.
“His involvement in this resulted in someone’s death,” Stone said. “She (Sanchez) was truly an innocent bystander.”
Stone requested that Zamora be given credit for the time he has already served while in jail, which as of Thursday was nearly two years.
Zamora stood as he was given the chance to address the court, saying he accepts full responsibility for his actions.
“I’m sorry for everything, taking a precious life,” he said. “She’ll never come back and I’m sorry for that. I pray that one day they forgive me for my actions.”
Sanchez’s family members did not attend the sentencing hearing, as many of them live out of state and were unable to be present in court Thursday morning.
Though he was the lookout, Zamora “encouraged” those who shot at the house, according to deputy Weber County Attorney Teral Tree. He said that Zamora texted a group of people shortly after the shooting and said, “I did that s---.”
“If you don’t change after something like this, I’m not sure what will change you,” Tree said.
Tree claimed that after Zamora’s arrest, the Farmington Bay Youth Center “begged” for the teen to be transferred to the Weber County Jail because of the problems he reportedly brought to the facility. The teen was ultimately booked into the jail in November of 2018.
Judge Jennifer Valencia called the case as a whole a “profoundly disturbing” incident.
“This is a senseless act of violence,” she said. “There is no amount of restitution, no amount of community service, no amount of time served that will make that family whole again.”
Valencia went on to say that she wished this type of behavior was out of character for Zamora, but based on the sawed-off shotgun found in his room and the reported issues at the juvenile facility, it was not.
“You need to choose another path moving forward, or else you will be on a path of violence and incarceration” Valencia said.
The judge ultimately sentenced Zamora to serve at least the next five years in a Utah state prison, adding that she knows it’s possible for the teen to make the right changes. As the shackled teen was led away, a number of those in the court’s gallery could be heard crying.
Zamora will be transferred to the custody of the Utah Department of Corrections to begin his prison term.
Garcia, the other defendant in the murder case, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 4 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court.