A teenager charged with killing his 16-year-old friend inside an Egg Harbor Township home will remain free on an ankle bracelet after being charged as an adult.
Ernesto Contreras Jimenez was 17 when he shot Alejandro Gonzales Santos Jr. in the head using a 9mm Glock he put together through parts he bought online, according to the charges in the case.
Now 18, Jimenez was waived up to adult court last week, charged with aggravated manslaughter. He has been free on an ankle bracelet since shortly after the Jan. 26 shooting.
He was even able to graduate with his Egg Harbor Township High School class this past June.
Jimenez, Santos and two other friends met up almost every Friday, his attorney told Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury. This night, they were at the Woodrow Avenue home of one of the boys, Michael Campos.
They were in Campos’ bedroom when Jimenez took out the gun to show his friends and removed the magazine, thinking it was safe, Feldman said.
He then put the gun to Alejandro Gonzalez Santos Jr.’s head and pulled the trigger, according to the charges.
Campos’ mother called 911, and then his father got on to tell what had happened.
“I don’t why these guys have the gun,” he tells the dispatcher. “He’s a friend of my son.”
“Each statement indicated it happened so quick nothing could be done,” defense attorney Steve Feldman said. “The way one witness put it, it was the quickest five seconds of his life.”
It was not a mere accident, Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey said.
Jimenez showed “an extreme indifference to the value of human life,” he told the judge, in asking that Jimenez be detained, under bail reform.
He said Jimenez even hid the gun under the mattress, McKelvey said.
But Feldman countered that, saying Jimenez threw the gun on the bed and that one of the boys who was on the bed likely moved it.
DeLury found that the case did not offer enough to detain Jimenez, who has not had any issues since his release on the ankle bracelet more than six months ago.
His next court date is Oct. 25 before Superior Court Judge Rodney Cunningham, to whom DeLury assigned the case.