A Brookhaven man whose mother identified him as the man who killed his cousin two years ago recently entered a guilty plea in DeKalb Superior Court and was sentenced to life in prison.

Carlos Eduardo Morales Gallardo has pleaded guilty in the 2015 murder of his cousin, also of Brookhaven. (Brookhaven PD)

Carlos Eduardo Morales-Gallardo, 21, opted to enter a guilty plea to a felony murder charge on July 6 rather than move forward on a trial for the shooting death of Nicolas Morales-Garcias, age 20, according to a press release from DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston.

Morales-Garcia was shot and killed on Nov. 28, 2015. Brookhaven Police officers, responding to a “person shot” call, discovered the victim in the parking lot of the Esquire Apartment complex on Buford Highway. He had been shot once in the back of the head. Witnesses heard gunshots following an argument between the two men, according to the press release. Defendant Morales-Gallardo was then spotted running toward the pool, before eventually fleeing the area.

The investigation led authorities to the defendant’s mother in Covington. She told detectives the defendant admitted to her that he shot and killed his cousin. He then asked for money to escape to Mexico. She refused, telling her son instead to take responsibility for his actions. Morales-Gallardo was later arrested and confessed to the shooting. He claimed it was an accident. However, according to the investigation, and the defendant’s own confession to family, he shot the victim over a $400 debt, according to the press release.

Following his guilty plea, Morales-Gallardo was sentenced to life in prison by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Josh Geller with assistance from DA Investigator Chris Wieseman. Detective David Snively of the Brookhaven Police Department led the initial investigation.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.