One of three men charged in the Christmas Day 2016 killing and drug-related robbery of a Palm Desert man is scheduled to be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
Alejandro Zendejas, 24, of Indio, had been facing a murder charge for the shooting of 24-year-old Skyler Siva, and he faced the possibility of life in prison without parole.
Zendejas pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge on Tuesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15, and he faces 21 years in prison.
Two co-defendants — Roger Rodriguez, 22, of La Quinta, and Anthony Garcia, 22, of Indio — are still charged with murder for the killing. They are also due in court Nov. 15, for a preliminary hearing.
Sheriff’s deputies found Siva shot but still alive just after 4 p.m. Christmas Day at his home in the 43400 block of Illinois Avenue. He was seated on his couch with at least one gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital, where he died less than an hour later, according to an arrest warrant declaration.
According to court records, the defendants were at Siva’s home that day to purchase marijuana from him. He was allegedly robbed and shot by Rodriguez and Garcia, with Zendejas acting as the getaway driver, according to the declaration.
Rodriguez was spotted running from the home by witnesses, the declaration states, and was arrested three days later in Palm Desert.
Garcia and Zendejas fled from the scene in Rodriguez’s car, according to the declaration. Garcia was arrested Jan. 4, 2017, in La Quinta, while Zendejas was taken into custody Jan. 24, 2017, in Palm Desert.