A 16-year-old St. Paul boy allegedly blamed the murder of his friend on four nonexistent suspects until police confronted him with evidence the he was the alleged killer, according to court documents.
Oscar E. Cervantes of St. Paul was charged Thursday in Ramsey County District Court with one count of second-degree murder without intent. Authorities are seeking to certify him as an adult in the Dec. 22 killing of Angel Gabriel Reyes Hernandez, 15, of St. Paul.
Reyes Hernandez's body was discovered at 12:13 a.m. Dec. 23 in a parking lot near a dog park at Arlington Avenue and Arkwright Street.
"Cervantes flagged down a St. Paul Police Department squad," said the charge against Cervantes. "Cervantes told the officer that he and (Reyes Hernandez) had been approached by four black males in a car. … Cervantes reported that someone in the car fired at them."
Authorities allege that Cervantes killed Reyes Hernandez after an argument over a gun and moved his body to the parking lot with the help of a reluctant accomplice who abandoned him with the body.
According to the complaint: When Cervantes flagged down police, he told them that the males yelled gang slang terms used to initiate a fight.
Someone in the car then fired, Cervantes allegedly told police, citing his and Reyes Hernandez's West Side residency as a motive for the East Side shooting.
Authorities found Reyes Hernandez's body face up in the corner of the parking lot with a brass shell casing about 2 feet away. An officer noted that he had dried blood on his hand.
Under 10 hours of questioning, Cervantes allegedly told police different stories about the shooting: He said he and Reyes Hernandez had purchased marijuana and were smoking at the dog park when a car pulled up, yelled gang slang and shot Reyes Hernandez in the head.
He also allegedly said that he and Reyes Hernandez met the males in the parking lot and that Reyes Hernandez went into the car to steal the marijuana and was shot because he couldn't open a locked door.
Police confronted Cervantes with evidence they had collected from a witness who showed them a Snapchat video Reyes Hernandez sent out around midnight. The video showed Cervantes pointing a gun at Reyes Hernandez.
Three other witnesses later told police that Cervantes and Reyes Hernandez were arguing in a living room at a location redacted from court documents. Two witnesses and young children were at the apartment at the time.
The two witnesses saw the teens arguing and heard a gunshot.
One witness told police that Cervantes demanded his help in disposing of Reyes Hernandez's body and the bloody couch they were sitting on. The witness said he cooperated because he feared Cervantes, who was still armed and who had allegedly shot Reyes Hernandez in front of a young child.
The two dumped the couch at a nearby dumpster and drove Reyes Hernandez's body to the parking lot, where the witness abandoned Cervantes after Cervantes pulled the body out of the car.
A fourth witness told police that Cervantes confessed to them that he had accidentally shot Reyes Hernandez after arguing over a gun. The fourth witness said Cervantes allegedly said Reyes Hernandez pointed the gun at Cervantes and pulled the trigger. Cervantes allegedly grew angry, grabbed the gun and shot Reyes Hernandez.
Reyes Hernandez suffered a gunshot wound to the head and possibly another to the left hand.