A Pueblo teenager who shot and killed a homeowner who interrupted a robbery has received the maximum sentence of 40 years in a plea agreement.
Torey Kuznicki, 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2010 killing of Michael Hopkins, rather than face a first-degree murder charge.
In June of 2010, Hopkins' body was found in his Pueblo West home by a relative. The 50-year-old had been shot multiple times. An investigation revealed that Hopkins had been shot after interrupting a burglary in progress.
For six months after Hopkins' death, the trail ran cold, as police were unable to get any leads on a possible suspect. Eventually the murder weapon, which had been sold multiple times since the shooting, materialized, which prompted several acquaintances of Kuznicki to step forward with information. Officers were told that Kuznicki knew details about Hopkins' death that only someone at the scene should know, and were able to find a connection between suspect and victim where there previously had been none.
By the time Kuznicki was named as a prime suspect, he had already fled to suburban Chicago. He was apprehended at a hotel in December of 2010. At the time, his name was withheld due to his still being a minor.
The plea agreement Friday set a maximum sentence of 40 years. Kuznicki was charged as an adult