A 19-year-old Cheyenne man who in May pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a 16-year-old Cheyenne girl will spend at least the next 15 years of his life in prison.

Goshen County District Court Judge Edward Buchanan on Monday sentenced Tirso Munguia to 15 to 20 years, saying the severity of the crime along with Munguia's irresponsibility, deception, and overall actions made probation "wholly inappropriate."

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The deadly shooting happened around 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2023, in the area of Frontier Mall.

According to police, 26-year-old Burns resident Sarah Heath was driving west on Dell Range Boulevard near Brakes Plus when 18-year-old Cheyenne resident Cody Nicholson, who was in the back seat with Munguia, set his gun and a magazine on the seat between them and told Munguia, "Be careful there's one in the head."

Munguia then admittedly picked up the gun, pointed it at Angelina Harrison who was in the front passenger seat, and pulled the trigger.

Heath reportedly pulled into the nearby NextCare Urgent Care and Nicholson, who had a warrant for a probation violation on an original charge of DUI, took the gun and ran, but no one went inside to get Harrison, who was bleeding out, help.

Heath then proceeded to the Frontier Mall parking lot and called 911, but by the time medical personnel arrived it was too late.

Munguia and Heath then lied to responding officers, saying they didn't know Nicholson and leading them to believe he was the shooter. Nicholson was eventually located after an hours-long manhunt.

"I just want to say I'm sorry that we're here," Munguia said during his sentencing. "I never meant for any of this to happen. I lost a good friend that day."

But Harrison's parents, who made victim impact statements, say Munguia did not act like a friend the night he shot their daughter.

"Angelina still had a pulse and was still alive the entire time Tirso was in that car driving around," said Amanda Harrison. "She still had a pulse when the car they were riding in came to a stop in the mall parking lot."

"There's a chance that Angelina would still be alive today, but instead, Tirso was selfish and showed no compassion and chose not to help Angelina the moment she was shot or in any of the following moments as the car he was in just drove around," she added.

"Your activities that night were selfish beyond description because there was no point in time in there until the jig was up as they say that you took responsibility," said Buchanan. "It was all about saving yourself."

Buchanan, who also ordered Munguia to pay $6625.52 in restitution, said while there was no punishment he could give to bring Angelina Harrison back or fully compensate her family for their loss, he hopes that the sentence will serve as a general deterrent to others that such behavior won't be tolerated.

"You still have a life left," Buchanan told Munguia. "And although you can never repay the bill in this case, you can make decisions in the rest of your life, I mean starting today, that somehow make society and the families and everybody that's involved ... believe that you're doing everything you can to try to repay a debt even though there's no way you can ever fully repay it."

For more information about this story, check out our earlier posts:

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