16-year-old pleads guilty in STEM shooting

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — One of two teens accused in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting on May 7, 2019 pleaded guilty Friday.

The 16-year-old is accused of perpetrating the shooting alongside a 19-year-old. FOX21 News has chosen not to say the shooting suspects names.

The 16-year-old faces 48 charges in connection to the shooting. Student Kendrick Castillo was killed in the shooting and eight others were wounded.

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Kendrick Castillo, who was killed during a shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Rachel Short via AP)

As part of a plea deal, the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to 17 of the charges.

  • first-degree murder in the death of Kendrick Castillo;
  • conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after deliberation;
  • 6 counts of attempted murder after deliberation
  • attempted murder extreme indifference (this count is amended to name everyone who was not physically shot in room 107)
  • second-degree assault (this count identifies the victims who were injured as a result of the security guard’s response to the active shooter situation)
  • conspiracy to commit arson
  • conspiracy to commit burglary
  • conspiracy to commit criminal mischief
  • possession of a weapon on school grounds
  • possession of a handgun by a juvenile
  • 2 crime-of-violence sentence enhancers

Other charged counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Sentencing by Judge Holmes is scheduled to occur on May 18 at 9 a.m. Due to changes in Colorado law in 2016 by the state legislature, the mandatory minimum sentence for the 16-year-old is life with the 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.

Charges are still pending against the adult defendant.

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