A teenager will do prison time after a convenience store robbery last year turned deadly.
The Oklahoma County district attorney dismissed a felony murder charge against Wyatt Cheatham, 17, for the death of Stavian Rodriguez on Monday. In exchange, the teenager was sentenced as an adult for armed robbery. Rodriguez was shot and killed by Oklahoma City police in November following the robbery.
News 9 was there as Cheatham was escorted back to the Oklahoma County Detention Center after the hearing.
News 9: “Wyatt, do you have anything to say about the DA dropping the murder charge? Are you glad?”
Cheatham did not have a response to the question, but his attorney Richard Rice said the charges have weighed heavy on the teenager.
“He was best friends with Stavian Rodriguez,” Rice said. “He’s devastated with the loss and he feels responsibility, remorse.”
Police said the two planned and committed an armed robbery at a southwest Oklahoma City convenience store in November. Cheatham left the store, but his best friend went back just as police were responding.
The armed 15-year-old was shot and killed by five police officers. They are now charged with his death. Cheatham was also charged as a youthful offender with first-degree murder while in the commission of a felony crime.
“This incident has ruined the lives of the shopkeeper, the Rodriguez family, the Cheatham family, and all the officers involved,” Rice said.
Cheatham and his attorney made a deal with the district attorney's office. Instead of going to prison for murder, Cheatham admitted to the judge he robbed the store with a gun and accepted the punishment.
“He is charged as an adult for robbery with a firearm and he’ll spend a few years in prison and hopefully while he’s in there he can finish his education. Hopefully, (he can) encourage others not to do the same things that he had done,” Rice said.
The district attorney said in court that Cheatham had prior juvenile charges which was another reason why he was charged and sentenced as an adult.