A Prince William County Circuit Court judge revoked the bond Wednesday of a teenager responsible for killing his baby” godfather despite a suggestion from county prosecutors that he remain free pending sentencing.
Jose Angel Delgado, 17, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the accidental shooting of James ” Parker, an all-state linebacker from Hylton High School.
‘ message am I sending to the community if I allow this young man to walk out of here on bond?’ said Judge Rossie D. Alston.
Alston told Delgado, who has been free on bond since the shooting, that people must know that jail is the consequence of manslaughter.
Delgado, who had known Parker all his life, had called his friend March 28 to show him the .22-caliber handgun he had found in his parents” bedroom. They met that night on the corner of Mahoney and Macwood drives in Dale City, where Parker, 17, was the passenger in 16-year-old Jamie Guidry” car.
Delgado, then 16, took the handgun out and pressed it up against Parker. Parker tried to get out of the way of the gun, but his friend wouldn” move it, according to court testimony.
Delgado then pulled back the gun” slide which cocked the weapon. When he let go, the gun discharged, said Assistant Commonwealth” Attorney William Jarvis.
Prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses agreed the shooting was unintentional.
Guidry told the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger in April that he ran from the car to get help. Delgado jumped in the car with Parker and drove to the Hillendale fire station. Parker died there as blood flowed from the wound.
‘ essentially bled out,’ Jarvis said.
Delgado took the unloaded weapon from his parents” bedroom and loaded it with his own bullets. Jarvis said he had been waiting for an opportunity to show it to Parker.
‘ seems to me that this was a tragedy that rocked this community,’ Alston said.
Delgado” attorney Thomas Woehrle said he is eager to show that his client has ‘ lot going for him.’ Delgado, who hasn” attended school since his freshman year, is working on a GED. He works as a painter with his father and is engaged to marry his baby” mother.
Prosecutors dropped two other charges filed in March: reckless handling of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a person under 18.
The tragedy rocked the small Dale City neighborhood where Delgado lives. His mother cried in court when Alston announced his decision; another woman dropped to her knees in the courtroom” center aisle crying.
The outpouring of support and grief that followed the killing was enormous. Mourners crafted makeshift memorials and about 2,500 people attended Parker” funeral service at the Hylton Memorial Chapel.
Delgado has a bond hearing on Dec. 23 and will be sentenced on Jan. 15. Prosecutors have recommended a 10-year sentence, with 10 years suspended. They believe the defendant should participate in community programs while on probation. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.
Alston has the discretion to impose any sentence he sees fit, up to the maximum penalty.