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HomeNewsLocal newsAccused Gunman Admits Guilt for January 2023 Homicide

Accused Gunman Admits Guilt for January 2023 Homicide

The fatal shooting of Marcos Guerrero marked the first homicide in the Virgin Islands in 2023. (Shutterstock image)

A man who was scheduled to face trial in a St. Thomas murder case pleaded guilty at a hearing held Monday in Superior Court. A Superior Court judge accepted the change of plea from defendant Luis Mota Rivas.

Rivas was arrested on Jan. 16, 2023, in connection with the death of Marcos Antonio Guerrero. Police responding to a report of shots fired in Charlotte Amalie found Guerrero slumped over the steering wheel of his car in the area of Market Square.

First responders transported the victim to Schneider Regional Medical Center for treatment, but he did not survive. An autopsy performed after Guerrero’s death cited multiple gunshot wounds as the cause.

Investigators obtained images taken from a security camera located near the shooting that showed a gunman firing shots through the driver’s side window where the victim was seated. They were able to identify Rivas as the man firing a black handgun on that recording.

A second suspect, identified as Aneudy Guerrero, was arrested and, along with Rivas, charged with multiple offenses, including first-degree murder.

In a change of plea motion filed in early May, Rivas agreed to admit his role in Marcos Guerrero’s death in exchange for admitting to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.

Superior Court Judge Carol Thomas-Jacobs accepted the deal and an amended complaint was filed reflecting the change. As part of Monday’s hearing, government lawyers read a statement describing what they could prove at trial, based on the evidence.

With help from a Spanish-language interpreter, the defendant agreed that the prosecutor’s account was factual and that he was the gunman seen in the surveillance recording.

The judge set a sentencing date of June 21 at 1 p.m.

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