Teen sentenced in robbery plot that killed 17-year-old boy

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A 17-year-old Colorado Springs boy who shot a fellow teen in the head after enlisting a girl to lure the victim into a robbery is headed to prison.

Angel Rafael Martinez was sentenced this month to 35 years in prison in the November 2018 robbery and killing of Luis Starkey Chavez — the result, authorities said, of a plot in which Martinez’s girlfriend reached out to Chavez on Facebook and invited him over with promises of sex, assuring him they would be alone.

Colorado Springs teen lured to his death by girl after his money, family says

When he showed up as agreed at home on Deerfield Hills Road on the city’s southeast side, the 17-year-old Chavez was ambushed by Martinez, authorities said.

Relatives say he was targeted partly for his habit of flashing cash on his social media page — money he earned working full time with his father installing floors.

Colorado Springs teen lured to his death by girl after his money, family says

Lured to his death by a girl he thought he was meeting for a date after boasting about having lots of money, Luis Starkey Chavez’s killing las…

Martinez, who was 16 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder at a Dec. 8 hearing, records show. His 35-year sentence was a condition of a plea agreement that tossed first-degree murder charges against him.

His girlfriend, Lizeth Rodriguez, 17, remains charged with first-degree murder, aggravated murder and other counts. She is due in court on Jan. 2.

Rodriguez and Martinez told police that Chavez drew a gun on them intending to rob them, and was shot while he and Martinez struggled for control of the weapon. But ballistics testing showed that Chavez was killed by a .40 caliber round, different from the gun he carried, and the murder weapon hasn’t been found.

And Rodriguez’s Facebook messages — filled with lurid promises this was no scam — were clear evidence of a plot, relatives say.

For Chavez, having money to show off was a perk of having reconnected with his family within the past year or so. He likely didn’t have more than $300 on him, said his sister, Rebecca Pietsch . His grandmother had helped him open up a bank account, and he wanted to start saving up to buy a car.

Chavez grew up with foster parents who later adopted him, after his parents lost custody amid trouble with drugs.

Around Christmas 2017, he called his biological father out of the blue, saying he was homeless in Denver and needed a place to stay.

Before long, they were living together in Colorado Springs, and Chavez got a job installing floors with him at the same company. He also dedicated himself to boxing under his father’s guidance.

“He was a hard worker,” said Pat Chavez. “He was trying hard to be the son that I wanted, and I was trying hard to be his dad, and it all got taken away.”

Martinez’s sentencing came shortly after the anniversary of Chavez’s death, when friends and loved ones gathered for a candlelight vigil at the Deerfield Community Center, near where he was killed.

“Everybody had nothing but good memories of Luis,” Pietsch said. 

The plea deal for Martinez is likely a sign that prosecutors will drop the first-degree murder count against Rodriguez, given that she’s not accused of pulling the trigger.

But both Chavez’s sister and father said she deserves stiff punishment for going along with the plan.

“I feel like she deserves more time than he did, because my son never would have gone that place without the girl luring him in,” Pat Chavez said.