The Brick Township teen who pleaded guilty to an adult charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault will spend four years behind bars, an Ocean County judge ruled Friday.
Luis Rivas, 17, who has been in custody since the Oct. 22, 2019 shooting along Lanes Mill Road, received his sentence by Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels after waiving the right for his case to be heard in family court as a juvenile. He initially pleaded guilty to the charge in March. His co-defendant, Alonzo Legrande, 18, of Asbury Park, also entered a guilty plea in adult court last month to charges of aggravated assault and weapons possession. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November. Legrande was identified as the shooter.
The shooting, which occurred at about 1:45 p.m. on Lanes Mill Road as the victim was walking home from school, resulted in the wounded student student returning to the school, about a quarter-mile away, to ask for help. That resulted in a lockdown of students who were still on campus involved in extra-curricular activities, and police sealing off the surrounding neighborhood.
As part of their investigation, detectives from Brick police, the prosecutor’s office and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department reviewed video surveillance footage from nearby residences. The video surveillance depicted Legrande and Rivas “acting together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting,” a statement from Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said.
The victim was treated at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township and released.
Rivas was apprehended on October 26, 2019, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension. His sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act, which means he must serve 85 percent of the four-year prison term before becoming eligible for parole.
“As I have previously stated, our law enforcement partners at the local, county, state and federal levels exhibited outstanding teamwork and cooperation with regard to this investigation,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said in a prepared statement. “I am grateful that as a result of the extraordinary efforts of these brave men and women in law enforcement, Rivas has been made to answer for his flagrant lawlessness with this four year prison sentence. And soon, Legrande will meet with his fate as well.”
Billhimer continued: “Violent and out-of-control behavior will not be tolerated in Ocean County, and those who inject fear and chaos into our neighborhoods – regardless of their age – will be prosecuted accordingly.”
No photo of Rivas was available and he was not listed as an inmate in the Ocean County Jail.