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Colorado School Shooter Sentenced To Life In Prison With No Release Option

One student was killed, eight others were injured, and many others were damaged by the Colorado school shooter’s STEM mass shooting two years ago. There is no hope for Devon Erickson to be released because of his lengthy jail term and life in prison without the ability to apply for parole. On Friday, one of the two Colorado school shooters at a Colorado STEM high school was given a statutory life sentence alone without a chance of parole. Classmate Kendrick Castillo, 20, was shot and killed by Devon Erickson, 20, during a shooting incident at STEM School Highlands Ranch in 2019. Erickson was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and 45 other heinous charges. First-degree murder convictions in Colorado carry mandatory life sentences without the possibility of release at any cost. The penalties for many of the other offenses are mandatory and must be served in order.

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At the Colorado school shooter‘s sentencing on Friday, 18th Judicial District Court Judge Theresa Slade heard evidence from at least 20 STEM School parents, students, instructors, and school administrators. Castillo’s parents and Erickson’s relatives also testified before Slade.  In June, a jury convicted Erickson guilty of 30 charges of criminal attempt to conduct first-degree murder, including first-degree murder with extreme indifference, first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and 30 instances of first-degree murder. He was also convicted of 12 additional crimes stemming from the shooting. 

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Erickson was ‘stonefaced’ the whole time the hearing went on until his family came to speak 

Before the judgment was delivered, Slade offered Colorado school shooter the chance to speak, but he turned it down. The retrial was scheduled on Friday so that sufferers and their relatives may speak to the court about the incident and its repercussions. More than two dozen people participated in the discussion, involving parents, teachers, and other kids. After listening to the survivor’s long and heartbreaking testimony, Judge Theresa Michelle Slade extended Erickson’s mandatory life sentence by hundreds of years. Several gunshot victims and Castillo’s parents spoke at the sentencing hearing on Friday. The impact statements of the victims went on for hours.

Additionally, Erickson’s parents entered the discussion.

According to Slade, the gunman never attempted to justify his actions, so nothing he said to him would have made a difference. Erickson remained silent as the decision was announced, but his voice cracked when the judge asked if he wanted to speak after his family members spoke about how much they loved him. Jim Erickson, Erickson’s father, transcribed the victims’ identities and apologized to the congregation. He wept as he added, “We pray for these individuals every day. “. 

Teacher Lauren Harper, who was in Room 107 at the time of the incident, testified in court. She admitted to the court before Erickson was sentenced that the incident still haunts her in dreams. It’s impossible to describe the dread that still grips me whenever a flashback occurs, a loud bang is heard, or I wake up from a nightmare, Harper said. Before imposing the sentence, the court also revealed that she had received a roughly 600-page sentencing report, a thumb drive containing hundreds of victim impact statements, and an additional ten statements the morning of sentencing.

Castillo’s mother pleaded the court to charge his son’s murderer with the highest degree possible

Kendrick Castillo’s mother, Maria Castillo, pleaded with the judge to punish Erickson to the fullest extent of the law.

Colorado School Shooter

“I have been here for every proceeding in this courtroom and staring at this diabolical killer, and he exhibits no remorse,” she told the local publication, according to the report. “He is unworthy of compassion. In light of the above, I respectfully request the maximum punishment for this depraved criminal today, your honor.” She referred to her son Kendrick as her “best buddy.” His father, John Castillo, described the punishment as “bittersweet” and “cathartic,” but said that at the end of the day, he and his wife Maria would be returning to an empty house as a result.

Insights of Colorado shooting incident

A jury decided that Erickson, then 19, worked with another student to attack a movie-watching class full of seniors. Erickson, now 20, is serving a life sentence for the crime. According to the panel’s verdict, a jury concluded that Erickson and his classmate Alec McKinney had been planning the attack for weeks before it happened. During his deposition, McKinney stated that he intended to target students who teased him for being transgender. McKinney also testified during the trial as a witness. He was given a life sentence with an additional 38 years on probation. After stymieing the attack, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was murdered by the two assailants. Another eight kids were wounded as a result of the incident. 

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According to McKinney’s Snapchat recordings from the day of the shooting, Erickson and the second shooter, Alec McKinney, stole firearms from a vault at Erickson’s family house. Erickson then took cocaine as the two disguised their weapons in backpacks and a guitar case before going to the school. 

They planned to create a “victim-hero” in which McKinney committed suicide or was assassinated by Erickson. Castillo and two other students, Joshua Jones and Brendan Bialy, caught up to Erikson before his rifle jammed. McKinney was taken into custody by a security guard.

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