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Teen sentenced in 2010 killing of transient he awakened
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Carlos Mateo, the Ceres teenager who shot to death a man following argument about disrupting the victim's sleep, was sentenced last week to 21 years in state prison.

Mateo, 16, entered a no contest plea to voluntary manslaughter and his admission that he personally used a firearm during the crime.

Mateo will be remanded to the California Youth Authority until he turns 18 and then be transferred to a state prison.

The nature and circumstances of the crime prompted prosecutors to charge Mateo as an adult because, said Deputy District Attorney John Baker.

Mateo fatally shot 56-year-old Ceres resident Michael Chandler in the head during a verbal altercation inside a home in the 3000 block of Fifth Street on July 11, 2010.

Chandler was spending the night on a couch in the home. Carlo Mateo and older brother Reynaldo Mateo didn't know Chandler. For several months the brothers were living with friend Mike Guptin, 18, who also allowed Chandler - a friend of his mother's - to spend the night on the couch. Detective Derek Perry said that the brothers came home around 2:30 p.m., making noises and disrupting Chandler's sleep. When Chandler asked them to quiet down, a verbal argument ensued. Carlos Mateo, who had alleged gang affiliations, retrieved a gun from a nearby room and shot Chandler in the right side of the head near the temple. After the shooting, Carlos asked the homeowner who the "tweaker" on the couch was. Guptin told the boys he was a "friend of the house." Apparently Guptin was unaware that a shooting had taken place.

With a bullet in his head, the mortally wounded and frantic Chandler managed to walk a quarter of a mile to the entrance of the Ceres Police station to seek help. At approximately 2:46 a.m. Chandler - wearing only pants and socks -started banging on the front door of the station. Two officers met him and saw that he had an injury to the front right of his forehead and that he was having difficulty answering questions. Chandler was unable to explain what had happened to him. Officers checked his identification and later found the scene of the shooting. Chandler was transported to an area hospital where his condition worsened. He died the next day.

Reynaldo Mateo, 18, was arrested and charged with felony accessory and two misdemeanor charges of obstructing a police investigation and giving false information to police.

Chandler had been struggling financially in the last few months, staying where he could, said Perry.

Carlos Mateo attended Ceres Community School and was previously arrested earlier in 2010 for assault with a deadly weapon.