A Polk County teenager was sentenced to 38 years prison Thursday afternoon for the 2015 fatal shooting of a man in East Manatee.
Manual Galindo-Oquendo, 32, of Mulberry, was found by a local resident about 5:30 p.m. March 12, 2015, on the side of Davis Grade Road, several miles from State Road 62 near Duette in eastern Manatee County. Oquendo had been shot dead nearby before his body was dumped.
On Thursday afternoon, Alex Kinchen entered into a plea agreement and changed his plea to no contest for the lesser offense of second-degree murder with a firearm. Kinchen had been indicted for first-degree murder early in the case and could have faced life in prison even on the lesser charge.
Kinchen was 17 at the time he shot and killed Oquendo, so the court ordered that his sentence be reviewed in 25 years as mandated by state statute.
Last week, Odilon Vela Mendez Jr., 21, who was also charged in the case with second-degree murder, entered into a plea agreement. Mendez pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to 20 and a half years prison.
Conditions of Mendez’s plea agreement had been that he had to testify truthfully against Kinchen at the trial that had been scheduled to begin Monday.
Kayla Jordan, a third teen involved, was charged with being an accessory to murder by the Polk County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit. Jordan was sentenced to one year in jail followed by probation.
Kinchen, Vela-Mendez Jr., Jordan and Galindo-Oquendo had all been in Galindo-Oquendo’s car on March 11, 2015, when Kinchen and Vela-Mendez conspired to rob the victim and kill him, according to reports. With Galindo-Oquendo passed out in the front seat after they had all smoked meth, the three suspects drove to a remote area of Manatee County.
After her arrest, Jordan said she exited the car when she realized what was happening and looked for a place to go to the bathroom.
Kinchen shot Galindo-Oquendo in the head with his own gun, and then he and Vela-Mendez Jr. dumped his body before picking Jordan up.
Kinchen, Vela-Mendez Jr. and Jordan then drove to Hillsborough County, according to detectives, and Kinchen dumped his car in a creek.
All three teens had been arrested on the night of March 18, 2015, on unrelated charges, and were later charged in Galindo-Oquendo’s death.