Man accused of fatal 2020 shooting expected to take plea deal

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LAS VEGAS, N.M. – The man accused of shooting at a group of teens near Storrie Lake in Las Vegas is expected to take a plea in court this week.

Three teens were hit in the shooting, and 16-year-old Adelina Tafoya died. Almost two years have passed, and Tafoya’s mother says they still have more questions than answers. 

“The last time I dropped off my daughter there, I didn’t know it was going to be our last goodbye, you know? I just want to know what happened,” said Estrella Gonzales. 

But it feels just like yesterday for Gonzales.

In July 2020, she got the call that her 16-year-old daughter had been shot and killed near Storrie Lake. She was driving a car with a group of teens.

“This year, my daughter would have graduated high school,” said Gonzales. 

Though the days have not gotten easier, there has been something pushing her family on – the thought of justice. 

Two men were charged with shooting at the car Tafoya was driving. Documents allege it was a mix-up with local drug dealers.

In March, Roger Tait Gomez took a plea deal for his role, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Up next was supposed to be his alleged accomplice Nico Barela.

“We’re not going to get that justice because it’s not going to trial. I think that’s a big part of the closure that we needed, as well, as a family. To know the events that took place that night,” said Briana Saiz, Tafoya’s sister. 

Barela is expected in court this Thursday to discuss a plea. The terms have not been agreed upon, in court, yet. 

But Saiz, Tafoya’s sister, says they worry they may never fully understand what happened and why they had to lose her. 

“There’s always that piece missing, whether a song comes on whether a memory drifts by, I just want to know why was my sister, I just feel like my sister was targeted,” said Saiz. 

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Thomas Clayton says the other victims have agreed to this plea deal. He believes there may have issues with the case against Barela if it went to trial.