Accused 16-year-old STEM School shooter to stand trial as adult

State

FILE – In this May 8, 2019 file photo bouquets of flowers sit on the sign outside the STEM School Highlands Ranch in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Security procedures at the STEM School Highlands Ranch are under scrutiny amid talks about its charter agreement with a Colorado school district. The contract expires Saturday, June 29. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — One of two teenagers accused of opening fire at a Douglas County School will be tried as an adult, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Douglas County District Court Judge Jeffrey Holmes denied a request by the defense to move the case involving 16-year-old Alec McKinney to juvenile court.

The May 7 shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch left one student, Kendrick Castillo, dead and eight other students wounded.

Castillo and two other students rushed one of the shooters who opened fire inside the classroom.

In September, a judge ruled McKinney’s alleged accomplice, 19-year-old Devon Erickson, could be prosecuted on 44 charges, including murder and attempted murder.

Holmes heard testimony, including from Castillo’s mother, over several days during a reverse transfer hearing last month.

By being tried as an adult, McKinney is facing a 40-year minimum sentence in the Department of Corrections if he is found guilty.

Had he been tried as a juvenile, McKinney could not be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole under Colorado law.

“On behalf of the many, many victims and our community, I am satisfied and pleased that the court agreed that this mass shooting case should be resolved in adult court. I am grateful to the victims and their families for the patience and understanding they have shown as they navigate a challenging and often-times slow justice system. My office will continue to do all that we can to support them during this difficult time in their lives. It is my intention to move forward without any additional delay towards the jury trial to which the defendant is entitled. Justice remains our steadfast commitment.”

District Attorney, 18th Judicial District George Brauchler

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