OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A murder charge that was filed against a teen has been dropped as part of a plea agreement in connection with the Stavian Rodriguez case in Oklahoma City.
17-year-old Wyatt Cheatham was charged after an armed robbery of a convenience store when his alleged accomplice, 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez, was shot and killed by police.
Officials say it all started in November when Cheatham and Rodriguez robbed a convenience store.
“[It’s] a nightmare that doesn’t end. I miss my son. I’m just thankful that my son is still alive. I’m not going to lose him to this system. We’re not going to let that happen,” Amanda Totsch, Cheatham’s mother, said.
Police say Rodriguez returned to the store for a second time that night without Cheatham, and that’s when he was killed.
“[Cheatham] was not on premises,” Totsch said.
Under Oklahoma law, Cheatham can be charged with murder because he and Rodriguez were allegedly taking part in something dangerous when Rodriguez was killed.
Advocates argue that Cheatham should go through the legal process for robbery, but not for murder.
“She’s not saying her son should be set scot free. She knows he did an illegal crime, a charge of robbery,” activist Michael Washington said.
Last month, five Oklahoma City police officers were charged with first-degree manslaughter in connection to Rodriguez’s death.
During a preliminary hearing conference on Monday, Cheatham pleaded guilty to one count of robbery with a firearm.
In exchange for the guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss the first-degree murder charge against him.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater confirmed to KFOR that Cheatham will be sentenced to eight years in prison.