INDIANAPOLIS — A former U.S. Army police officer was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison for his role in the 2019 shooting death of a 16-year-old in Beech Grove.
Friday in court, German Parra, 30, avoided a murder charge and pleaded guilty to armed robbery and two counts of criminal recklessness in the death of Xavier Weir.
Marion Superior Court Judge Marc Rothenberg told Parra that he has heard about 90 murder trials and hundreds of cases involving other violent crimes and each one offers a glimpse of the worst in our society. Each of those cases, the judge said, exposes a share of misery that can keep a person awake at night.
"Even the most minimal part that you played in this has caused so much pain and misery," Rothenberg said, addressing Parra from the bench. "Mr. Parra, I don't say this is a mean or vengeful way, but as part of your actions I hope it keeps you up at night as well."
Rothenberg sentenced Parra to 17.5 years in prison and five years of probation, which was the maximum under the plea agreement. The plea deal was offered after a three day jury trial in October ended in a mistrial.
Jurors deadlocked 6-6 on Oct. 19 after they couldn't agree to find Parra guilty of murder, lawyers said during Friday's hearing.
"It's just crazy," Michelle Raines, Xavier's mother, said after the hearing. "He was a military police officer. If the case was presented the way it should have been, he would have gotten murder, not robbery."
A spokesman for Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears' office declined to comment Friday.
Investigators say Xavier Weir, 16, was driving in the 400 block of Grovewood Drive when someone opened fire on his vehicle. Weir crashed into a ditch and his vehicle caught fire. Officers had to pull Weir from the burning vehicle and he was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
Weir's heart and other organs were harvested and went to seven different patients, his mother told the court.
"Because of Xavier, seven people are alive today," Raines said. "Xavier's legacy will live on in those seven people."
Parra fired at least 11 rounds from a 9-mm handgun, prosecutors said. One of those rounds struck Weir in the chest and head.
Parra was with another gunman, then-16-year-old Isaiha Funez, prosecutors said. Nunez fired at least two shots from a .40-caliber handgun, one of those rounds went into his own leg, according to court records.
Police arrested Funez after he showed up at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. Funez has agreed to plead guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 17, court records show.
Despite the barrage of bullets, a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old in the vehicle with Weir were not injured.
Parra was arrested on a warrant out of Indiana on April 23, 2019, by US Marshalls in Kentucky.
He was a U.S. Army Sergeant military police officer stationed at a military base in Kentucky. He has since been dishonorably discharged, his attorney told WRTV.
Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @vicryc.