Man sentenced to 80 years for shooting that killed teen who tried to steal marijuana plant

DENVER -- A Denver man convicted of shooting two teenagers, killing one and critically injuring the other, was sentenced to 80 years in prison Wednesday.

The shooting happened in October 2016 in the backyard of a home in the Five Points neighborhood.

Keylin Mosely, 15, was shot dead, his 14-year old friend was paralyzed over what family calls a stupid teenage prank.

“The boys were trying to steal a pot plant from the backyard of an illegal grow,” said Mosley’s cousin, Salina Mosley.

The family said they forgive the man responsible, even though he’s still claiming to be innocent.

Outside the Denver District Courthouse, Salina described the teen who was killed.

“A chocolate prince with a chocolate smile. Very quiet, very observed, very fun, loving,” she said.

It was in the early-morning hours of Oct. 9 when the Denver Police Department said Mosley and his 14-year-old friend hopped a fence near East 28th Avenue and High Street, attempting to steal a marijuana plant from an illegal backyard grow.

“Keylin was not trying to kill, he was not trying to destroy and he was not trying to hurt nobody,” Salina said.

From the home’s second-story window, prosecutors say 49-year-old Keith Hammock fired shots, hitting both boys. Police said Hammock then came down to the alley to check his aim.

“The thing is Josiah said, I’m sorry for what me and my friend did and I’m sorry we didn’t mean to do nothing, I’m sorry and he still shot him. He did not do CPR on Keylin. He walked in the house and said, they tried to rob me,” Salina said of that night.

The family said the 14-year-old was on the phone with 911 when he was shot a second time by Hammock, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Despite Hammock’s conviction, in Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, he maintained his innocence, telling the judge he is the true victim and that he was not the one who fired the shots.

“We forgive him because we have to. We forgive him but life goes on. He knows what he did. He knows what happened that night. Josiah knows what happened that night. Keylin is gone,” Salina said, adding all that matters is justice has been served.

“He has to deal with what he did. When he comes to terms, that’s on him but we are moving on,” she said.

Hammock addressed the court before sentencing and said he suffered from ineffective counsel, a biased judge and a manufactured conviction. He said he will appeal the conviction.