OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A controversial murder charge against a 17-year-old after his best friend was shot and killed during a stand off with Oklahoma City Police was dropped Monday morning at the Oklahoma County Courthouse.
“The reality is this is a bad situation and it ended tragically, and now we got to clean up the pieces and figure out how to deal with it all,” said Richard Rice, Wyatt Cheatham’s defense attorney.
Attorneys said 17-year-old Wyatt Cheatham pleaded guilty to robbery with a firearm. In exchange, the felony murder charge against him will be dismissed.
In November 2020, Cheatham and his best friend, 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez robbed a downtown convenience while they had guns, according to police.
Officers said Rodriguez later returned to the scene of the crime without Cheatham. That’s when a stand off with police broke out and Rodriguez was shot and killed by officers.
“He’s devastated at the loss and feels responsibility and remorse. He’s very upset about what ultimately happened,” said Rice. “He shares in the responsibility for what happened.”
Cheatham was charged with felony murder.
Even though Cheatham wasn’t there when the deadly standoff started, he was with Rodriguez when they were illegally taking part in something dangerous that ended in Rodriguez’s death.
“This incident has ruined lives of the shopkeeper, the Rodriguez family, the Chief and family, and of all the officers involved. It’s a difficult situation,” said Rice.
District Attorney David Prater told News 4 in a statement, “The disposition of this case is just; considering all of the circumstances in this complicated chain of events.”
With a lesser charge in hand, Cheatham’s Attorney said his client will spend the next eight years in prison, hopefully using his time wisely.
“Wyatt is going to finish his education while he’s in prison,” said Rice. “He will have some guidance counseling when he’s in and hopefully be able to turn around and be a productive member of society.”