kunc-header-1440x90.png
Our Story Happens Here
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Our Morgan County 96.7 translator continues to be off the air due to equipment damage. We are working to restore our signal. Visit our Listen page for alternative streaming options. »
News

Former Student Found Guilty Of Murder In STEM School Shooting

generic_news_graphic.png

One of two former students accused in a fatal shooting at a suburban Denver school in 2019 was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and other crimes Tuesday.

The verdict against Devon Erickson came a day after lawyers delivered closing arguments in his trial. Prosecutors said Erickson, now 20, was a full partner with Alec McKinney in the shooting that killed one student at STEM School Highlands Ranch in an incorporated suburban community south of Denver. The shooting happened in the high school portion of the school, which had all grades.

Defense attorneys argued that Erickson was manipulated and pressured into participating by his younger friend. McKinney testified against Erickson after pleading guilty last year.

During closing arguments, defense lawyer David Kaplan told jurors that the shooting that killed 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo unfolded without a true plan and happened only after Erickson, who was sent to the nurse’s office after he looked sick, got a threatening message from McKinney to help with the attack.

The defense also raised the possibility that Castillo, one of three students hailed as heroes for rushing Erickson after he pulled out a gun, was accidentally shot as he tackled Erickson.

The prosecution disputed the accidental shooting theory, saying that was not likely given the positioning of the two. Two other students struggled to get Erickson to give up his gun after Castillo was shot, prosecutors said.

As the verdict for each count was read, Erickson stood nearly motionless, hands clasped in front of him, staring straight ahead and blinking. Prosecutor George Brauchler bowed his head as the first guilty verdict was read.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Related Content
  • The families of the 10 people fatally shot in a Boulder King Soopers last month, as well as others working and shopping during the gunfire, face a long court process ahead. The criminal legal system can help provide closure and answer victims’ questions, but it can also force the survivors to re-live their trauma.