St. Paul teen pleads guilty to killing his friend, leaving body in park

The shooting happened just after midnight on Dec. 23.
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A St. Paul teenager has pleaded guilty to the murder of his 15-year-old friend whose body he then dumped in a dog park.

Oscar Cervantes, now 17, was originally charged as a juvenile but on Tuesday was charged as an adult with second-degree murder without intent.

He pleaded guilty, and was then sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison, with the Pioneer Press reporting he'll get credit for 79 days already served.

According to the charges against Cervantes, just after midnight on Dec. 23 the then 16 year old flagged down police after his friend, Angel Gabriel Reyes Hernandez, of St. Paul, was found shot near the Arlington/Arkwright Dog Park. 

Cervantes told officers that four black men in a car yelled gang slang at them and that his friend shouted something back, prompting someone in the car to shoot the teen in the head. 

Officers found Hernandez dead in a snowbank with a shell casing near his body. They also noted that Cervantes had dried blood on his hands. 

During an interview with investigators, Cervantes, who was 16 at the time of the alleged crime, changed his story about what happened multiple times. When investigators questioned him about the story changes he demanded to talk to his mother and asked for a lawyer. 

A witness later provided police with Snapchat video from the night of the shooting showing Cervantes pointing a gun at the camera and Hernandez.

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A second witness told investigators that they were with Cervantes and the victim the night of the shooting, saying he heard the two arguing inside an apartment in St. Paul, with the argument ending after a gunshot was fired. 

The witness said Cervantes ordered him to help dispose of the body, which the witness did out of fear because Cervantes still had the gun. 

After disposing of a bloody couch in a dumpster and helping a random person who needed a jumpstart on their vehicle, they drove Reyes' body to the dog park where Cervantes unloaded it, the complaint says. 

It was while Cervantes was disposing of the body that the witness fled for safety.

The charges were certified to adult court on March 12. 

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