Yesterday, a Colorado Jury took less than five hours to convict 20-year-old Devon Erickson of first-degree murder. Erickson shot and killed Kendrick Castillo during the 2019 school shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch. Kendrick and a few other students rushed Erickson after Erickson announced he had a gun. During the ensuing scuffle, Erickson fired his gun, killing Kendrick Castillo.
During the trial, Erickson’s defense was that he was supposedly pressured into the shooting by his cohort Alex McKinney. It was also argued that Erickson accidentally shot Kendrick Castillo. However, both of these claims were largely disputed. Mckinney, who previously pleaded guilty, testified that they had both planned the shooting where the end result was supposed to be Erickson killing McKinney so Erickson could ‘play the hero’. Let us also not forget that Erickson was said to harass other students by repeatedly threatening school shootings.
Expert witnesses testified on Erikson’s behalf, claiming he could have accidentally fired his gun due to an involuntary muscle contraction attributed to a lack of sleep and cocaine use. The defense pointed out that an involuntary muscle contraction could not lead to the gun being fired four times.
Since Erickson was 18 at the time of the shooting, he is looking at a sentence of life without parole when he is scheduled to be sentenced in September.