A Bowling Green man pleaded guilty Monday to several charges that stemmed from the fatal shooting of a teenager at his apartment.
Nathanael Mieses-Nevarez, 21, pleaded guilty in Warren Circuit Court to charges of murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
Mieses-Nevarez was suspected in the death of Holden Heath, 19, who was shot and killed Dec. 27, 2019.
The plea agreement Mieses-Nevarez reached recommends a 50-year prison sentence.
The case was scheduled to go to trial in January, at which he faced a potential life sentence if convicted as charged.
Mieses-Nevarez received information on social media that there could be marijuana or money at Heath’s Torridge Avenue apartment, according to prior court testimony.
On the night of the shooting, Mieses-Nevarez went to the apartment carrying a firearm and planning to commit a robbery, according to the Bowling Green Police Department, which investigated the homicide.
In court Monday, attorney James Rhorer of the state Department of Public Advocacy said Mieses-Nevarez knocked on the door to Heath’s apartment and then forced his way inside as the door opened.
“Heath also had a firearm, there was a standoff that led to a scuffle, which then led to Mr. Nevarez shooting Mr. Heath,” Rhorer said.
At a preliminary hearing last year in Warren District Court, BGPD Detective David Grimsley testified that Heath, who suffered a gunshot wound in the chest, identified the person who shot him as “Nate.”
Heath was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Further investigation enabled police to determine that Heath and Mieses-Nevarez were familiar with each other.
Police located Mieses-Nevarez at a Jackson Street apartment belonging to his grandmother Dec. 27, 2019, and arrested him.
Heath’s girlfriend and child were present in the apartment when the shooting occurred, leading to the wanton endangerment charges, though the child was reportedly sleeping in another room, Rhorer said.
Mieses-Nevarez was also accused of disposing of the weapon used in the shooting, resulting in the tampering charge.
Rhorer said in court that discussions with Mieses-Nevarez over possible trial strategy produced few viable defenses. “With the array of charges he’s facing here, we didn’t see a realistic way to keep (a sentence) under 50 years,” Rhorer said.
The plea agreement will dismiss a separate case against Mieses-Nevarez in which he is charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, receiving stolen property, custodial interference, second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, second-degree criminal mischief, third-degree criminal mischief, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Mieses-Nevarez will return to court Jan. 22 for sentencing.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.