Suspect in 2019 homicide sentenced to 20 years in prison

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Wednesday, the loved ones of the murdered Navy veteran say they do not forgive the young man that changed their lives forever.

“Families, you know, weren’t able to pick up their kids. Half of Albuquerque was closed down,” said Isaac Candelaria’s sister.  

It was a manhunt that we haven’t seen since 2019.

“I remember my daughter coming over to my house that day said, I don’t know what’s going on. There’s so many SWAT team, and military and tactical gear and everything,'” said Candelaria’s sister.

Now, we’re hearing what that day was like for the sister of Isaac Candelaria.

“I never thought it was because they were searching for someone that took my brother away from me,” she said.

Elijiah Amos took a plea deal admitting to killing Candelaria after trying to steal his bike at a bus stop near Old Town. For the first time, we are hearing from him.

“I got thrown in the street. Like when I was pedaling and the gun came out,” said Amos. “That day, everything happened so quick.”

Amos fled and lost police after crossing the Rio Grande. He took cover in the bosque for two days.

Police got a tip that lead them to his Facebook account which had messages saying he had to ditch a gun with two bodies on it.

He was arrested a year and half after the shooting. A point Candelaria’s sister brought up in court.

“I’m going to sit and pray that if there is another body on that gun, that they do get him for that as well,” she said. “But I don’t know if I have forgiveness for you. I loved my brother so much. He was just an awesome person.”

Candelaria apparently moved his bike so that someone could sit down on the bus stop bench. That would be his last act of kindness.

“I’m going to say, you know, sorry to the family. But, I know they don’t want to hear all that,” said Amos. 

The judge upheld the plea deal. Amos will do the next 20 years in prison.

“I love my brother with all my heart,” said Candelaria’s sister.