Suspect in 2019 Colorado school shooting found guilty of murder

One of two suspects in a 2019 school shooting in Colorado has been found guilty of murder.

A jury found Devon Erickson, 20, guilty Tuesday on all 46 counts in a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, near Denver, in which one student was killed and eight others were injured.

PHOTO: Devon Erickson appears in court at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., May 15, 2019.

Erickson faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to ABC Denver affiliate KMGH. His sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 17, during which two additional crime of violence charges filed as sentence enhancers also will be considered.

A second suspect in the shooting, Alec McKinney, pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after deliberation, last year. He was sentenced to life in prison.

According to police, on May 7, 2019, two suspects entered the K-12 charter school armed with handguns and weapons hidden in guitar cases and opened fire in two separate locations of the school. Kendrick Castillo, 18, one of several students who tried to confront the shooters, was shot to death.

PHOTO: Police and students are seen outside STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter middle school in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, Colo., after a shooting, May 7, 2019.

McKinney and Erickson were both students at the school at the time.

Erickson pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also included multiple counts of attempted murder, arson and burglary.

Defense attorneys argued Erickson, 18 at the time of the shooting, was pressured into participating by McKinney, then 16, KMGH reported. But prosecutors said the two friends were partners in a “shared scheme,” and McKinney also testified against Erickson that they were equal partners in the shooting, KMGH reported.

The defense also raised the theory that Castillo was accidentally shot by Erickson during a tussle for the gun, though prosecutors said that was unlikely given their positioning, according to The Associated Press.

Source: Read Full Article