WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A 16-year-old will now be standing trial for capital murder as an adult after 78th District Judge Meredith Kennedy ordered his case transferred to district court.
Ricardo Sapata’s case was in juvenile court while a second suspect, 17-year-old Isaiah Sims, awaited trial for the capital murder of Andrew Gable on June 1, 2022.
The new indictment alleges Sapata was the triggerman who fired multiple shots at the 15-year-old who was in the back seat of the car.
Police said two girls in the car said Sapata had arranged to buy marijuana, but he instead pulled a gun and tried to rob them.
Police arrested Sapata the next day and said he identified Sims as the person with him.
In granting the petition to move his case to district court, Kennedy took into consideration the maturity of the suspect, his record, protection of the public and likelihood of rehabilitation through juvenile services, the violent nature of the crime, Sapata’s demeanor during questioning, his failure to comply with previous juvenile programs and his behavior while in custody.
Judge Kennedy set bail at $250,000 and ordered Sapata held in juvenile detention until he turns 17, when he will be transferred to the county jail.
Since he was 16 when the alleged crime occurred, Sapata can not face the death penalty, but if convicted, faces a mandatory life sentence.
Sims, who turned 18 shortly after the shooting on June 1, remains jailed on $1.5 million bond.
The witnesses said Sims was standing a few feet away from their car when Sapata began firing, then Sapata grabbed the bag of marijuana and ran.