MARSHFIELD, Mo. — After serving nearly two years behind bars, a Fordland teen is free from jail tonight in the murder of Mexican national, Oscar Martinez.
18-year-old Joshua Applegate along with four others were charged in the death of Martinez during a drug deal in April of 2016.
It happened at a home in Fordland.
Applegate pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a firearm in exchange for five years of probation after prosecutors say he shot at the car the victim was in.
We were there as Applegate was released from jail and reunited with his family after nearly two years.
Prosecutor Ben Berkstresser says the deal was offered to Applegate after pleas were made by the other four defendants.
Berkstresser also says evidence shows that Applegate didn’t have prior knowledge of the crime.
His attorney told KOLR 10 reporter Brea Douglas he only fired the gun in self-defense toward his co-defendants in this case.
Applegate says he’s grateful to his co-defendant in helping him get released.
“The person in my case finally came forward and told the truth,” Applegate said. “God bless him, I really appreciate that and Berkstresser finally come and offer me something that was reasonable for the affect of the thing that happened that night and i’m just really thankful.”
As part of his probation, Applegate will be required to get his GED within a year and not own a firearm until the age of 23 and not before completing a gun safety course.
The other four defendants in this case have pleaded guilty and are still awaiting sentencing.