Marietta teen pleads guilty in brother’s shooting death
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
April 03, 2013 11:42 PM | 3605 views | 11 11 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oscar Mondragon stands before Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary Staley on Wednesday as he enters a non-negotiated plea of guilty for the murder of his younger brother. <br>Staff/Laura Moon
Oscar Mondragon stands before Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary Staley on Wednesday as he enters a non-negotiated plea of guilty for the murder of his younger brother.
Staff/Laura Moon
slideshow
Elosia Castaneva, right, Mondragon’s mother, listens to the trial with the aid of interpreter Tatiana Fernandez.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Elosia Castaneva, right, Mondragon’s mother, listens to the trial with the aid of interpreter Tatiana Fernandez.
Staff/Laura Moon
slideshow
MARIETTA — A Marietta teen pleaded guilty Wednesday to accidentally shooting his little brother to death at their home in 2011.

Oscar Mondragon will spend a little over three years in jail for involuntary manslaughter and violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act by pointing or aiming a gun or pistol at another.

He is accused of shooting and killing his 12-year-old brother, Javier Mondragon, at close range at their home in the Valley View Mobile Home Park off Eastside Drive in Marietta on June 2, 2011.

Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary E. Staley sentenced Mondragon to 10 years with five years to serve in prison. He will receive credit for the 22 months he has already served in a local youth detention center.

Mondragon also received a 10-year sentence for the street gang violation, but it will run at the same time as the other sentence.

“You took the life of a 12-year-old victim,” Staley said. “Your record indicates an escalation of criminal behavior.”

Based on a letter he submitted to the court, Staley said she hoped he had changed.

“I hope things have a better future for you and that’s within your grasp,” she said.

Cobb Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans said he thought it was appropriate to reduce the sentence for involuntary manslaughter. The maximum sentence is 25 years.

“This appears as a factual matter to be an accident,” he said.

Evans said he spoke to the defendant’s family, including his mother Eloisa Castaneva, who testified on behalf of the defense during the hearing, and they were OK with the sentence.

“I’m sure this defendant does not want to go to the state system. No defendant wants to go to the state system, but at the same time these are very serious offenses, and this is why gang members shouldn’t have guns,” Evans said.

He said the state couldn’t ignore Mondragon’s previous criminal history, either, and his association with the LNS 13 gang.

“This sentence is more than fair under the circumstances,” he said.

Since he was 12 years old, Mondragon has been arrested on numerous juvenile charges, including burglary, drug possession, running away, eluding police and probation violation.

More danger in prison system?

Mondragon was represented by Jason Treadaway, who argued that his client should be released back into the custody of his family because the state prison system could reintroduce him to gang violence.

“He was housed at the YDC for a reason,” Treadaway said. “Children at that age are impressionable and preyed upon. They are in a special class that deserves special treatment.”

He understood the severity of the crime but was worried that lifetime prisoners who were incarcerated for gang-related offenses would take advantage of Mondragon because they know he will get out of jail in the next three years.

“Can’t you imagine how much one of these old-time gang bangers down at Jackson would relish the opportunity to get a hold of Mr. Mondragon and to take him under their wing … he would be clay in their hands that they can mold, train and teach the ways of the street and the gang,” Treadaway said.

Mother pleads for her son

His mother, Casteneva, his cousin, Maria Galdamez, and Victor Pena with the Marietta Regional Youth Detention Center all testified and agreed that sending Mondragon to jail was a bad idea.

“My opinion is that I don’t want him to be sent to prison because of the bad influences there,” Castaneva said, using an interpreter.

She told the court that she has seen a change in her son since he was arrested, that he has plans to work and is a different person.

When asked if her son has shown any remorse to the shooting, she only said she has asked him what happened that night, and he remained silent.

Castaneva said if her son were released to the family’s custody though, he would not be allowed to live with her, but she would find somewhere for him to live.
Comments
(11)
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Love one another....
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October 03, 2013
All I have to say about this case is that Mondragon's mom status has nothing to do with his crime. I can understand the opinions, but really why would you bash on someone's legal status? We're all immigrants for that sake. Retrieve your information from the beginning and see whose an immigrant.

Mondragon will be serving his sentence and I'm sure he will forever live with the pain his actions will bring upon him.

Atlanta Legal Reside: You use some powerful words in your sentences "murder" "kill again" "punk gang member" "prison for life." Do you have children? If so, put them in his shoes. Would you like someone referring to your children in such harsh heartless manner?

Its easy to say, " Send him to prison!" Have you considered the fact that by sending him there he could fall into gang activity again?

Some individuals NEED rehabilitation. I'm sure Mondragon is grieving in his own way. I'm not trying to justify his actions, but I am trying to get a message across and that is, "Their mother lost two children forever. 12 yr old will never come back and Mondragon will be in prison and who know what life after prison will be like. So as a member of this family I ask that everyone show some sort of respect. I'm sure Mondragon feels remorse for what he did.
atlanta legal reside
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April 04, 2013
GREAT now this murder can get out of prison and kill again making it worse on the law abiding gun owners, they should have put this punk gang member in prison for life, but no, you bleeding heart left wing liberal idiots think these punks can be rehabilitated
Just Asking
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April 04, 2013
So if he were white and living in East Cobb would he have been sentenced to two 10 year concurrent sentences for an accidental shooting of his own family member? Just asking?

tired of it
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April 04, 2013
The kid showed no remorse he has a history, send him to prison and make his sentence consecutive NOT concurrent.
your mom
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November 08, 2013
you see i know modragon nd he do have remorse i know it ... being in jail for 5 years makes u think alot ..
Pat H
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April 04, 2013
This gangbanger with a criminal history who shot his brother should be released because of bad influences in prison? Mama, you are the problem.

Why are the taxpayers paying for an interpreter for a witness for the defense? If you can't speak or understand English, then pay for one yourself or remain ignorant.

Another fine example of the great family values of our Hispanic "immigrants".
Good Guy Gunned
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April 04, 2013
"This appears as a factual matter to be an accident," Cobb Assistant D.A. Jesse Evans reportedly said.

Yes, it probably was an accident. It was an accident that happens in households where the gun obsessed reside. They are constantly PLAYing with their guns. It's their hobby, what does one expect?

It's an accident like all car crashes are accidents. Cars provide a convenience. We don't need them. People all over the world get by just fine without cars. For many people here cars are not only a convenience, they are a hobby!

Why do we have these conveniences and hobbies that kill so many people who are not involved in the hobby?

If your hobby (guns, driving, kite flying, whatever) kills a non-participant, you should be brought up for a $billion $dollar liability and imprisoned for at least 40 years. Then perhaps the hobbyists among us might start to regard the lives of others with less cavalier disrepect than they currently show.
dustoff
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April 04, 2013
Good Guy

Maybe it was an accident but

You need to re read the article.

Mondragon has been arrested on numerous juvenile charges, including burglary, drug possession, running away, eluding police and probation violation. He is also associated with the LNS 13 gang.

This guy is a career felon not a hobbist that owned guns and killed a person.

And dollars to donuts his mother is an illegal living off the system.
Good Guy Gunned
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April 05, 2013
Why do I need to reread the article? My $billion $dollar fine and 40 year prison sentence are not harsh enough? Guns and crime are this kid's hobby. Since his hobby killed somebody, lock him up and throw away the key. I am merely saying we should do that same for people pursuing other hobbies that kill, such as pointlessly driving cars everywhere they go. Some people even drive to go somewhere and exercise. A lot of people will say walking incurs a massive risk of being killed by a driver. It's true. However, I prefer that risk to the risk of my killing someone by driving my car over them. I might end up dead, but I won't have killed anybody.
your mom
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November 08, 2013
fuck you both :)

see i have alot of juvenil charges to nd here i am after a while of being locked up

better nd more mature nd i know oscar will to i know hem nd have faith in hem
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