Burlington teen already charged with murder faces same as adult

The Bellingham Herald

A 15-year-old boy previously charged with second-degree murder as a juvenile has now been charged with the same crime as an adult.

Cristian Alexander Quijas was charged Tuesday as an adult in the March 30 shooting death of 16-year-old Angel Estrada. Quijas is being held on $1 million bail.

When charged as a juvenile, Quijas’ bail was $500,000.

According to state law, 16- or 17-year-olds charged with qualifying violent offenses, including murder, are automatically charged as adults.

But because Quijas was 15 at the time of the shooting – and will not turn 16 until the end of November – Judge Brian Stiles last week had to decide whether prosecutors could charge Quijas as an adult.

Stiles did so on Friday.

Quijas is accused of shooting Estrada because Quijas was upset Estrada, a rival gang member, was dating his sister.

Prosecutors assert Quijas shot Estrada five times, three of which struck Estrada in the back.

The Skagit Valley Herald does not name juveniles charged with crimes, but has chosen to do so now that Quijas has been charged as an adult.

Skagit County prosecutor Trisha Johnson said Quijas is set to be arraigned Nov. 9.