19-Year-Old Sentenced for First-Degree Murder

FLORENCE, Ariz. (March 18, 2019) – On March 15, 2019, Nathaniel Maldonado was sentenced to 25 years in prison with the possibility of parole for first-degree felony murder. Additionally, Maldonado will serve a concurrent sentence of 7.5 years in prison for an attempted armed robbery that took place at the same time.

On May 13, 2017, 17-year-old Maldonado met with 20-year-old Tyran Simmons, Jr. Maldonado shot Simmons five times after robbing him. The defendant left the scene of the crime with co-defendant Gloria Alvarez. A concerned neighbor followed the two suspects to a nearby home and called law enforcement. When Pinal County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene, they found a weapon inside the house along with blood-stained clothes. Investigators linked the evidence to the crime. PCSO arrested both Maldonado and Alvarez.

The co-defendant, Alvarez, plead guilty to armed robbery and hindering prosecution. She testified during Maldonado’s trial that the defendant said he intended to rob the victim of marijuana. Alvarez said she drove the defendant to and from the scene of the crime, waiting for Maldonado while he was with Simmons. During the investigation, social media revealed the defendant and the victim made contact over messaging before the incident.