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17-year-old gets 17 years in prison for manslaughter

Sentenced in killing of another 17 year old: Azucena Price
Posted at 7:14 PM, May 22, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A teenager is headed to adult prison for his manslaughter conviction for shooting and killing a teenage girl.

A 17-year-old man will be spending 17 years in prison shooting and killing a young girl. Her family is talking about the loss. The man is talking about his hopes to turn his life around.

Azucena Price was at a party. Juventino Cervantes-Burke was there playing with a gun. It went off. The bullet hit her in the head and killed her. To try to hide the crime, two other young men threw her body over a wall, into a yard, and into a pool.

READ: Family reacts to child shot, killed, and dumped in pool

Family reacts to child shot, killed, and dumped in pool

She was 17 when she died. Juventino Cervantes-Burke is 17 now and has just learned his manslaughter conviction will mean 17 years in adult prison.

Azucena’s father Fred Jerez says, “I like the number. The number is good for 17 and it gave him 17. So that'll signify something to me.”

Her mother, Cynthia Myers says, "In my mind at 17 years of not being raised correctly, it's gonna take at least 17 years to be rehabilitated into knowing how to be a productive member to society.”

Juventino Cervantes-Burke and his lawyer said in court, now that he’s away from drugs and bad influences he’s already turning his life around. They could not convince Judge Renee Bennett to order a seven year sentence—the shortest the law would allow.

Azucena’s family is left to balance loving memories and think of the memories Azucena did not live to make—-like the high school graduation she would have had just a few days ago.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.