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News / Nation & World

13-year-old Texas boy sentenced to prison for murder in fatal shooting at a Sonic Drive-In

By JAKE BLEIBERG, Associated Press
Published: November 15, 2023, 8:42am

DALLAS (AP) — A 13-year-old Texas boy convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of a Sonic Drive-In employee has been sentenced to 12 years incarceration, authorities said.

A judge issued the sentence Tuesday following days of evidentiary hearings over what punishment the boy should face in the rare murder case against a child, according to Amy Pardo of the Johnson County Attorney’s office. He will start the sentence in the custody of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and he may later be transferred to the state’s adult prison system.

The boy, whom authorities have not identified by name, faced sentences ranging from probation to 40 years behind bars. In October, a jury found him to have engaged in delinquent conduct, the juvenile equivalent of a guilty verdict, in the murder case over the May shooting of a Sonic employee who had a fight with his uncle.

The child’s lawyer did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.

Police have said the boy, then 12, shot Matthew Davis several times with an AR-style rifle in the parking lot of the restaurant in Keene, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Dallas. He got the gun out of his uncle’s vehicle and opened fire after Davis confronted the uncle about his “disorderly conduct” outside the Sonic and the two men began to fight, police said.

The boy’s uncle, Angel Gomez, was also arrested after the shooting and later indicted on a charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. The case is pending.