Victoria man pleads guilty to manslaughter

Christopher Salazar

A Victoria man charged with fatally shooting his cousin accepted a plea agreement Wednesday afternoon.

Christopher Salazar, who was originally indicted on a murder charge, pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

He also pleaded guilty Wednesday to two other felony charges - having a prohibited substance in a correction facility and possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram.

A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison and two years in state jail for those charges, respectively.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Criminal District Attorney Stephen Tyler said he struck a deal with the defense because if he took the case to trial, a jury might acquit Salazar.

"There were factors which could lead to a claim of self defense. It was a viable enough claim that an offer was made," Tyler said.

Victoria police arrested Salazar, 25, on Nov. 14.

He was charged with shooting Johnny Ray Salazar, 31, once in the chest in the 500 block of East South Street about 8 p.m. Nov. 13.

Officials have said in the past that the shooting might have started after an argument about synthetic marijuana.

Salazar's attorney, Lee Lewis, could not be reached for comment.