A 19-year-old San Marcos man accused of supplying a gun used in a fatal shooting this summer, then hiding the loaded weapon in an apartment courtyard and lying to police was sentenced Wednesday to time served and probation.

The sentence for Gerardo Gonzales was the result of a plea deal — a deal made without the knowledge of the victim’s family, and one that left them so appalled they started an online petition to push for a tougher punishment for Gonzales.

Connor Mangseth, 18, was shot to death while hanging out with friends in a Carlsbad apartment on Caringa Way in July. A teen girl who pulled the trigger as she played with the gun said it was an accident. The gun belonged to Gonzales.

“We don’t see any justice here. This is a mistake,” the victim’s mother, Maureen Mangseth, said Wednesday during the victim impact statement she made during Gonzales’ sentencing hearing.

Gonzales pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and endangering a child — in this case, the child was the teen girl who fired the fatal shot. Gonzales also pleaded guilty to grand theft from a person for a robbery in January. He was out on bail, waiting for trial, in that case when Mangseth died.

He struck a deal to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of four years’ probation and, essentially, for time served for the days he has spent in custody since he was booked into jail July 24.

Vista Superior Court Judge James Simmons, Jr. told Gonzales that if he fails on probation, he is looking at jail. A year in jail is the maximum allowed under the deal. But with credits and COVID-19 concerns cutting jail sentences, he likely would not face much more than a few weeks or months.

The probation part of the deal is what angered Mangseth’s family. By the time they learned of it, the deal could not be undone. The judge said he understood the family feels “let down by the system.”

Monitor with images of people who spoke at the hearing

Gerardo Gonzales, 19, listens as the parents of Connor Mangseth address Superior Court Judge James Simmons Jr. during Gonzales’ sentencing Wednesday. COVID-19 concerns have kept courtrooms closed, and hearings are handled via online meetings. Simmons was in his Vista courtroom, where this photo was taken. On the screen are: Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe (top left), Samantha Mangseth (top middle), Probation Officer Allison Garcia (top right); Gerardo Gonzales (lower right), Sabrina, Maureen and Ron Mangseth (lower middle); and defense attorney Charles Millioen.

(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

In court, Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe acknowledged there had been a failure to communicate with the family before the deal was struck. He was not the initial prosecutor, but stepped in to take over the case in recent weeks after the communication failure.

Asked for comment on the family’s displeasure, District Attorney’s Office spokesman Steve Walker said, in part: “This is obviously a tragic case and we have been in very close contact with the victim’s family in recent weeks as we continue to seek justice for their loss.”

He noted that, as part of the deal, prosecutors would not oppose a jail sentence for Gonzales. He also noted that prosecutors have charged the teen girl with murder. Her Juvenile Court case is ongoing.

Mangseth’s family said he was one of those passionate, in-the-moment people. A surfer, a hunter, a dirt biker, he brought “boyhood mischief and absolute joy,” his sisters wrote in his eulogy. “Connor did not wait to live, like so many of us do,” they wrote. “He never let off that throttle.”

Mangseth kept a notebook, where he wrote thoughts. Among them: ”Your worth is determined by your effort.”

Simmons zeroed in on those words when sentencing Gonzales. “You have to make up for what you did,” the judge said. “You owe that to Conner and his family.”

Simmons also pointed the friendship between the two youths. “You failed him that day,” Simmons said. “You treated him like a piece of trash.”

Before Simmons spoke, Gonzales apologized to Mangseth’s family. “This is something that I wish would never have happened,” Gonzales said, saying Mangseth “was one of my best friends.”

Later, Mangseth’s mother said she wished the two youths had never met, and that her son had gone out of his way to befriend Gonzales. “You have destroyed this family,” she said.

Mangseth and Gonzales had been friends for many years. On July 23, the two young men, the teen girl and another young man were hanging out. Mangseth and the teen girl were in another room when, according to authorities, the teen said said she had pulled the slide of the gun and — thinking it was unloaded — pulled the trigger.

After the gunshot, as Mangseth lay on the floor bleeding, several minutes passed before anyone called 911. During that time, according to authorities, Gonzales hid the gun, and the three concocted a lie to tell police — two strangers had fired the shot. Before that story collapsed, police were searching for two fictitious gunmen.

Gonzales was arrested within hours of the shooting. But he didn’t share the location of the gun. Five days passed before police finally found the gun, tucked into ivy in an apartment courtyard. It was loaded.

It was also a ghost gun, without a serial number, and built with parts primarily and legally purchased online.

And because of the suspicious nature of the shooting, with police thinking there were gunmen at large, the hospital where Mangseth had been taken — and were he died — went on lockdown, Maureen Mangseth said in court. That meant she was not allowed inside to see her son.

She said she was in the hospital parking lot when a police detective called to say her son had died.

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