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Life sentence for 1 of 2 Colorado students charged in the STEM School shooting that took the life of Kendrick Castillo

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 4:59 PM MDT
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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - One of the two Colorado students charged in the shooting that claimed the life of Kendrick Castillo was sentenced on Friday.

Maya “Alec” McKinney was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. The shooting happened in May of 2019 at STEM School Highlands Ranch. Students say Castillo ran towards one of the shooters, sacrificing himself to save others.

McKinney pleaded guilty to 17 charges; other charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Since McKinney was a juvenile at the time of the shooting, parole is a possibility after 40 years.

Both of Kendrick’s parents gave testimony at the sentencing.

“You sit there with crocodile tears,” John Castillo, the father of Kendrick, said to McKinney in the courtroom on Friday. “You took something from me that can never be replaced. I’ll never find peace ... your plan didn’t work, because you’re pure evil and you were met by good... I will never forgive you. I hate you. I love my Christ Jesus and I hope he forgives me.”

The mother of Kendrick couldn’t hide her emotions as she spoke.

“You coward,” Kendrick’s mother Maria said while addressing McKinney. “My only wish is to see you dead, burning in hell!”

McKinney was fighting back tears.

“I don’t want a lighter sentence,” McKinney said. “To anyone thinking of a school shooting, get help now ... don’t be a coward and hide behind a gun. Be brave and learn how to get help. Face what you’re feeling. Think about those you care about because it hurts them way more than you’ve ever been hurt. The most important thing Kendrick has taught me is that life, all life, is precious.”

A judge found that McKinney’s alleged accomplice, 19-year-old Devon Erickson, could be prosecuted on dozens of charges that include murder and attempted murder. Erickson is scheduled to go to trial in September.

McKinney pleaded guilty to the following:

-COUNT 1: MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION, KENDRICK CASTILLO - LIFE IN PRISON, LIFE PERIOD OF PAROLE

-COUNT 3: CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION 4 YEARS DOC, 5 YR MANDATORY PERIOD OF PAROLE

-COUNT 4: ATTEMPTED 1ST DEGREE MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION - 16 YEARS DOC, 5 YR MANDATORY PERIOD OF PAROLE, CONSECUTIVE TO COUNT 1

-COUNT 5: ATTEMPTED 1ST DEGREE MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION - 16 YEARS DOC, 5 YR MANDATORY PERIOD OF PAROLE, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-COUNT 6: ATTEMPTED 1ST DEGREE MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION - 16 YEARS DOC, 5 YR MANDATORY PERIOD OF PAROLE, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-COUNT 7: ATTEMPTED 1ST DEGREE MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION - 16 YEARS DOC, 5 YR MANDATORY PERIOD OF PAROLE, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-COUNT 8: ATTEMPTED 1ST DEGREE MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION - 16 YEARS DOC, 5 YR MANDATORY PERIOD OF PAROLE, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-COUNT 9: ATTEMPTED 1ST DEGREE MURDER AFTER DELIBERATION - 16 YEARS DOC, 5 YR MANDATORY PERIOD OF PAROLE, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-COUNT 10: ATTEMPTED 1ST DEGREE MURDER EXTREME INDIFFERENCE - 16 YEARS DOC, CONSECUTIVE TO COUNT 1, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-ARSON - 2 YEARS DOC, 2 YR PAROLE, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-WEAPON ON SCHOOL GROUNDS - 18 MONTHS DOC, 2 YR PAROLE, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

-CRIMINAL MISCHIEF - 18 MONTHS DOC, CONCURRENT

-HANDGUN BY JUVENILE - 12 MONTHS COUNTY JAIL, SERVED IN DOC CONCURRENT WITH OTHER CHARGES

-3RD DEGREE BURGLARY - 18 MONTHS IN DOC

-2ND DEGREE ASSAULT - 6 YEARS DOC, CONSECUTIVE TO COUNTS 1, 4 & 10, CONCURRENT WITH OTHER COUNTS

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