A Pima County jury convicted a teen of first-degree murder last week in connection with a deadly mugging near the downtown rattlesnake bridge in 2017, court documents show. 

Daren Encinas-Pablo, 17, was also found guilty on six other charges, including armed robbery and aggravated assault, court documents show.

He was one of two people arrested in the robbery and shooting that left Nicholas Encalade, 53, dead on Oct. 12, 2017, in Iron Horse Park east of downtown.

The other man arrested, Joseph Anthony Santos, 20, previously pleaded guilty to felony robbery in connection with the case, according to Star archives. He accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to four years’ probation in November 2018.

In the shooting, Encalade and Mary Burr were at the park around 7:30 p.m. when Encinas-Pablo and Santos approached them. 

Encinas-Pablo pointed a gun and demanded the pair’s belongings, according to a Pima County Superior Court interim complaint.

Encalade and Burr gave them $5, as well as some jewelry. Burr later told police the men started to leave, but then turned back and the gunman started shooting, the complaint said.  

Encalade was shot multiple times and later died at the hospital. Burr was uninjured.

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About 15 minutes later, police found Encinas-Pablo shot in the stomach. He told police Santos had pointed the gun during the robbery and then shot him in the stomach.

Santos was later arrested on the Tohono O’odham Nation. He blamed Encinas-Pablo for the shooting during the robbery, according to court records.

Encintas-Pablo's sentencing is scheduled for July 16 in Pima County Superior Court. 

Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at scasanova@tucson.com. On Twitter: @CasanovaReports


Stephanie is a Tucson native and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2014. She worked for newspapers in Rapid City, South Dakota; Manhattan, Kansas; and Lake Havasu City before moving back to Tucson.