State Watch

Colorado high school shooter sentenced to life in prison

A 20-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday after he was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2019 shooting at a Denver, Colo., high school that killed one and injured eight others.

Devon Erickson, a former high school student, was also given multiple, 48-year sentences for attempted murder and extreme indifference for the surviving victims District Court Judge Theresa Slade ruled. 

Prosecutors on the case said that Erickson, joined by fellow student Alec McKinney, allegedly fired multiple rounds into a classroom at STEM School Highlands Ranch on May 7, 2019. The pair killed Kendrick Castillo, an 18-year-old senior, after he tried to stop the attack. The shooting injured eight other students.

Parents, teachers and survivors of the shooting attended court before the sentencing Friday to talk about the ways the event has affected their lives, according to 9News, an NBC affiliate. 

Maria Castillo, the mother of Kendrick Castillo, asked the judge for the maximum punishment to be levied against Erickson. 

"I have been here for every proceeding in this courtroom and looking at this demonic killer and he shows no remorse," she said, according to the local outlet. "He deserves no mercy. So today, your honor, I ask you for the maximum sentence for this evil killer."

She called her son Kendrick her "best friend." 

Erikson was convicted of 46 charges in June, including the murder of Castillo, according to The Associated Press. He was given a life sentence due to his age - 18 - at the time of the shooting. 

McKinney, who was 16 at the time, was sentenced to life last year. He will become eligible for parole after about 20 years in prison under a program for juvenile inmates. 

Prosectors said that Erikson and McKinney entered a dark classroom of students watching a movie through two different doors to allegedly maximize the number of people they could kill, according to the AP. The pair reportedly wanted to devise a "victim-hero" where McKinney would either die by suicide or be killed by Erickson.

However, his gun jammed after shooting multiple times before Castillo and two other students, Joshua Jones and Brendan Bialy, overtook Erikson. A security guard apprehended McKinney.

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