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'Even with a maximum sentence he gets to live and breathe': Teen gets life for role in murder of student

Kenneth Gallegos was 17 when Lloyd Chavez was killed in 2019. Due to his age, he'll be eligible for parole in 40 years.

AURORA, Colo. — A teen who was convicted earlier this year in connection with the murder of a Cherokee Trail High School student was sentenced this week to life with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

In early April, an Arapahoe County jury found 19-year-old Kenneth Gallegos guilty of murder for his role in the May 8, 2019 killing of Lloyd Chavez.

Chavez, an 18-year-old student, was shot just outside his Centennial home.

Gallegos was accused of orchestrating a vape juice robbery that led to the death of Chavez.

Numerous members of his family were in the courtroom and gave statements at sentencing for Gallegos.

His maternal grandmother read a statement from Chavez's younger sister, who was the first to come to his aid after he was shot.

“What happened that night has scarred me for life, and I can’t get it out of my head,” she said. “And I have to live without (Lloyd) every day of my life.”  

RELATED: Murder conviction reached in shooting of Centennial teen Lloyd Chavez

Gallegos was 17 at the time of the crime. Under Colorado law, the mandatory penalty for a juvenile convicted of a first-class felony is life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

Credit: ACSO
Kenneth Gallegos

"His sentence will never be enough to compensate for a lifetime without our precious Lloyd, I believe there would be some deserved justice for our family if he is locked away for life," a statement from Chavez's paternal grandmother says. "Even with a maximum sentence he gets to live and breathe. Our little Lloyd does not.” 

>Video above: Coach remembers 18-year-old student killed near his Centennial home

Gallegos was one of four people arrested in the shooting, all of whom were under 18 at the time of the murder. 

RELATED: 'He always wanted people to be happy': High school rugby player remembered as 'everyone's friend'

The four were accused of planning to rob Chavez, who sold vape juice, at his home in Centennial. But the robbery went awry and Chavez was shot. 

Gallegos was convicted on the following charges:

  • First-degree murder – felony murder 
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery