FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A man charged as a 16-year-old in a fatal shooting two years ago has been sentenced.

Xavier Walker, now 18, was handed 52 years for the May 19, 2020, killing of 19-year-old Jaden Diaz Lee Nelson in the parking lot of the Phillips 66 gas station at 218 E. Pettit Ave.

Walker was found guilty of felony murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor charge for dangerous possession of a firearm by a jury in March.

Walker was 16 when he and another teen – Ronnie T. Miles, Jr. – were arrested in the hours after the shooting.

Police and medics were called around 4:10 p.m. May 19 to the parking lot of the gas station at the intersection with Calhoun Street on reports that a man had been shot. Officers arrived and found Nelson lying outside of a black Chevrolet Malibu suffering from a gunshot wound.

He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and died soon after from his injuries.

Xavier Walker

Police at the scene told WANE 15 that Nelson actually drove to the gas station after being shot somewhere in the area of East Maple Grove Avenue and Avondale Drive. Reports of shots fired came into police from that location, police said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a witness who was with Nelson told police that two suspects who had been wearing red had ran off after the shooting. An officer spotted Walker in a driveway of a home, but he dropped something and ran, the affidavit.

Police found he’d dropped a baggie of marijuana, and later found a handgun left in a potted plant, the affidavit said.

On Nelson’s phone, police found a Facebook Messenger conversation with a profile of “Yeahh Deezy,” who turned out to be Miles, in which Miles asked Nelson to sell him narcotics, the affidavit said.

Police said spoke with the person who’d been with Nelson when he was shot. She told investigators that Nelson asked her to weigh out some marijuana from his stash and to pick him up during his work break. According to the affidavit, she picked him up and they went to a home and two people “came out of nowhere” and started talking to Nelson.

The woman said Nelson showed them the bag of marijuana and the suspects started say, “You hot! You hot!,” as if he was suspicious. At that point, they got into the back seat of the car and Miles pulled a gun and said, “I’m going to need that. If you don’t give it to me, I’m going to shoot you! I’m going to shoot you!,” the affidavit said.

Nelson then began driving with the suspects in the back seat. As the car was moving, one of them jumped out, and Nelson and Miles began to fight over the gun, the affidavit said. During the struggle, a shot rang out, the affidavit said.

The witness identified Miles as the shooter, the affidavit said.

In an interview with police, Miles said he and “Zay” set up a drug deal with Nelson with plans to rob him, the affidavit said. The plan was to put the gun to Nelson while they took the marijuana, but “there was a lot of struggling” and Nelson had a gun, too, the affidavit said. Miles said he and “Zay” jumped out of the vehicle and “Zay” thought Nelson was trying to shoot them so he fired his gun multiple times at the vehicle, the affidavit said.

Miles pleaded guilty to murder in May 2021 and was sentenced to 50 years.