GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man originally charged with murder in a deadly shooting near downtown Grand Rapids after the 2019 Independence Day fireworks is pleading down to lesser charges.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said Jose Jacobo, 21, agreed to plead guilty or no contest to carrying a concealed weapon, attempted resisting or obstructing of a police officer and being an accessory after the fact to a felony.
In exchange, the prosecutor agreed to drop a count of open murder, conspiracy to commit open murder, assault with intent to commit murder, gang membership felonies and three weapons counts.
The deal came Tuesday, what was supposed to be the first day of Jacobo’s trial.
The shooting happened July 6, 2019, at the intersection of 6th Street NW and Front Avenue, across the river from Sixth Street Park. That wasn’t long after nor far from where the annual fireworks display was held. The Grand Rapids Police Department said the victim, 20-year-old Saul Espinoza, was already dead when officers arrived on the scene and found his body in a car that had crashed into another vehicle. An 18-year-old woman was also injured.
Court documents show Espinoza was a member of the Mexican Mob and that police believed four members of the rival Latin Kings gang surrounded his car and fired two dozen shots into it.
Raymond Barrios was charged with murder in the case in February 2020. He was believed to have fled to Guatemala under an alias.
Jacobo was charged in May 2021.
His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 11. The concealed weapon and accessory charges are both five-year felonies and the resisting and obstructing count is a one-year misdemeanor. Prosecutors said they would recommend one year in the county jail, plus five years of probation.