Waco man charged in drug-related killing gets 45 years in prison after agreeing to plea deal
District attorney reduced capital murder charge to murder
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Waco man who shot and killed another man during what police described as a drug-related robbery in October 2021 was sentenced to 45 years in prison Thursday.
Anthony Al Chambers, 41, pleaded guilty to murder in the shooting death of 22-year-old Robert Anthony Juarez III outside an apartment complex in the 800 block of South 12th Street, and 54th State District Judge Susan Kelly sentenced him to 45 years in prison.
Chambers and his co-defendant, Aleisha Hilliard, initially were charged with capital murder in the offense. However, the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office reduced the charge to murder and offered Chambers 45 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.
Hilliard, 29, who remains jailed on a capital murder charge, has an Oct. 9 trial setting in Waco’s 54th State District Court.
Prosecutors agreed to dismiss an unrelated aggravated robbery charge against Chambers as part of the plea bargain. Chambers must serve at least half of his prison term before he can seek parole.
A number of Juarez’s family members and friends, including some who wore T-shirts bearing his photo, attended Thursday’s brief hearing. All declined comment after Chambers was sentenced.
Waco attorney John Donahue and Austin attorney Jon Evans, who represented Chambers, both declined comment on Thursday.
Witnesses told police investigators that Hilliard contacted Juarez “to buy some illegal narcotics” from him at the Kate Ross Apartments, according to arrest records. After Juarez’s death, investigators found messages between Hilliard and Juarez in which Hilliard is asking to buy drugs from him, an arrest affidavit alleges.
Hilliard denied involvement in the murder and said she was not at the scene where Juarez was killed, police reported. However, her phone records, secured with a search warrant, showed she was at the murder scene when it occurred, according to the affidavit.
An unnamed witness told police that Chambers admitted to him that he killed Juarez. The witness said Chambers was trying to get rid of the matching gold shirt and pants he was wearing when he shot and killed Juarez, court records allege. The witness reported that Chambers wanted to go back to the scene “to retrieve some guns and drugs,” according to an arrest affidavit.
A second witness told police that Chambers agreed to help Hilliard rob Juarez and used an “AR-15-style rifle” to kill him, records show. After the shooting, Chambers stashed the gun in Juarez’s car and he and Hilliard fled the scene in Hilliard’s car, the witness told police detectives.
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