Cheyenne Police Department | Wiederspahn Randomsky
Cheyenne Police Department | Wiederspahn Randomsky

A Cheyenne teenager who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a rival gang member in 2021 was sentenced Thursday in Laramie County District Court to 20 to 22 years in prison.

The fatal shooting happened in the early morning hours of July 5 at the Cheyenne Station Apartments in the 1600 block of Taft Avenue.

Police say 16-year-old Raymond Sanchez along with his 18-year-old cousin Xavier Sanchez, of Casper, and Xavier's friend Dane Martinez went to 14-year-old Daniel King-William Barlow's apartment to fight Barlow because of a conflict between Raymond's uncle, George Manzanares, and Barlow.

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Because there was a party going on and Martinez was unknown to Barlow and his friends, Martinez was sent into the apartment complex to knock on Barlow's door while Raymond waited at the top of the stairs and Xavier stood watch outside.

When Barlow answered and realized he was in some sort of danger, he reportedly slammed the door and Raymond shot him through the door, killing him.

Xavier Sanchez | Laramie County Sheriff's Office
Xavier Sanchez | Laramie County Sheriff's Office

Police say Xavier fired a round at an open window after seeing a witness, but the bullet didn't hit anyone.

Raymond and Xavier were subsequently arrested and charged in the case, but District Attorney Leigh Anne Grant Manlove said that "due to constitutional violations of Martinez's rights during his police interview," the state was unable to bring charges against him.

"Equally frustrating was the state's inability to hold accountable the adults who were deeply immeshed in the events that led to Daniel's death," Manlove said during the sentencing.

"Even if the state does not have sufficient evidence to prosecute them they're also responsible," she added.

Raymond, who took a plea deal in the case, apologized to Barlow's family, saying it was "never (his) intention" to kill Barlow and that he "would do anything to bring back Daniel even if it meant giving up (his) own life."

"I want you all to know that I really do wish that I could change all of this, not because of the time, because of the pain this has brought to both families," he said.

Judge Thomas Campbell said there wasn't any disputing Raymond's horrible history of drug use and mental illness, but emphasized there were no excuses for Barlow's murder.

"I think everybody in the room, including me, and I've done this for 40 years, isn't that understanding of the fact this happened," said Campbell. "But it's charged and appropriately charged in such a way that a long prison sentence is called for."

For more information about this case, check out our earlier posts:

10 Absolute Most Dangerous Cities to Live in Wyoming for 2022

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