Watch the full press conference with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in the video player above.
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 10/4/2023 3:40 p.m.
(COLORADO SPRINGS) — After the jury handed down its verdict in the trial of 29-year-old Joshua Johnson, who was found guilty of First-Degree Murder in the death of his coworker, 17-year-old Riley Whitelaw, immediate sentencing followed and began just 30 minutes later on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 2:30 p.m.
4th Judicial District Judge Eric Bentley sentenced Johnson to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The defense stated it intended to file an appeal of conviction and Johnson did not make a statement.
Prior to sentencing, several people gave impact statements including Riley’s mother, Courtenay Whitelaw, and stepfather. “She’s smart, artistic, and loving; Riley has taught me so much as her mom, and I am so grateful to be her mom,” said Courtenay Whitelaw. “Never did we think her kindness would get her killed.”
“I will live for her and carry her for every moment of every day,” Courtenay Whitelaw said. “I pray that kindness and love will erase the evilness in this case… thank you all for your time, Riley’s mom.”
Robert and Pamela Whitelaw, the grandparents of Riley, also stood to make a statement. “Riley was our only grandchild… the light of our lives,” said Robert Whitelaw.
Judge Bentley also issued a statement and said in part, “Mrs. Whitelaw, I am in awe of the courage you have shown in the courtroom every day… no child could ask for anything more from a mother.”
“I hope that what the justice system can do in the process of this trial and sentencing can bring some closure,” said Judge Bentley. “Riley will continue to live on in you.”
The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office plans to hold a press conference on today’s verdict and sentencing at 4 p.m. FOX21 News will carry the press conference live in the video player above.
ORIGINAL STORY: Justice for Riley Whitelaw, Jury hands down guilty verdict
WEDNESDAY 10/4/2023 2:08 p.m.
A jury handed down its verdict in the trial of 29-year-old Joshua Johnson, who was found guilty of First-Degree Murder in the death of his coworker, 17-year-old Riley Whitelaw inside a Colorado Springs Walgreens in June of 2022.
4th Judicial District Judge Eric Bentley addressed the court and said the jury was requested to be polled, and subsequently read each juror number aloud to ensure each juror agreed with the verdict.
Immediate sentencing was also requested and will be heard by Judge Bentley this afternoon around 2:30 p.m.
Closing arguments were held on Wednesday, Oct. 4 by the defense and prosecution in the trial, which started on Monday, Sept. 25.
On June 11, 2022, 17-year-old Whitelaw was found stabbed to death in the breakroom of the Walgreens on Centennial Boulevard.
On June 30, 2023, Johnson was found competent to stand trial after the trial was delayed a second time due to the defense requesting a second competency evaluation.