17-year-old STEM School shooting suspect sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole plus 38 years

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The 17-year-old accused of perpetrating the May 2019 STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting alongside a 19-year-old suspect was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

In February, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to 17 charges related to the shooting that left one student, Kendrick Castillo, dead.

In addition to Kendrick Castillo being killed, eight people were wounded in the shooting.

Before the sentence was handed down, the judge heard emotional testimony from people who were at the school that day and from the 17-year-old suspect himself.

The judge added 139 1/2 years to sentence for other charges, but many run concurrently. The plea included convictions on first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after deliberation and attempted murder after deliberation, among several others.

Several of the original charges against the 17-year-old were either dismissed or amended, and at least one count against him was added before he pleaded guilty.

Since he was a juvenile, he was not eligible for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“Due to changes in Colorado law in 2016 by the state legislature, the mandatory minimum sentence for 16-year-old is life with possibility of parole after 40 years minus earned time. The maximum sentence under the plea agreement is life with the possibility of parole after 40 years minus earned time plus 407½ years in the Department of Corrections,” the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

The 19-year-old’s trial is set to begin September 28.

*** FOX21 decided not to release the suspects names and focus on the victims.

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