GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been convicted of shooting and killing a 14-year-old at a Holland-area hotel earlier this year.
In a Grand Haven courtroom Wednesday, Juan Cabrera, 18, was found guilty of first-degree murder, gang membership and a weapons charge.
In Michigan, first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Cabrera’s sentencing date has not yet been set.
Troy “T.J.” Wells Jr., 14, of Holland died of multiple gunshot wounds following the Feb. 16 shooting at the Hampton Inn on Felch Street near US-31 in Holland Township.
The shooting happened after a dispute between T.J. and another man, who were members of rival gangs, witnesses told investigators. Cabrera is a member of the Latin Kings. Photos posted on Snapchat moments before the shooting show Cabrera and another young man with bandanas over their faces and holding assault rifles, Ottawa County authorities previously confirmed.
Authorities searched for Cabrera for about two weeks after the shooting, eventually finding and arresting him in the Upper Peninsula.
Cabrera’s mother Sarah Cintron, who was also charged in connection to the case, pleaded guilty in July to lying to a peace officer and harboring a felon. She was sentenced earlier this month to 60 days in jail with credit for five days served. Under the terms of a plea agreement, a felony charge of being an accessory after the fact was dropped.