Man sentenced to 80 years for killing teen maintains his innocence

DENVER -- From his Denver jail cell, a man convicted of murder spoke out Thursday.

Keith Hammock was sentenced to 80 years in prison Wednesday for the 2016 shooting that left a 15-year-old boy dead and a 14-year-old boy paralyzed.

It's been almost one year since the teen boys hopped Hammock's fence in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, attempting to steal a marijuana plant from his illegal backyard grow.

Hammock admitted Thursday that he fired what he called "warning shots" at the ground from his second-story window.

He said his shots did not hit the boys and he believes gunfire also came from another direction.

Hammock also admits to not calling 911 after the shots were fired.

"It wasn’t provocation, it was compilation," he said through the jail's telephone video monitor.

Hammock said on the night of Oct. 9, 2016, he awoke at 2 a.m. to gunshots and the sounds of his back door being kicked in.

“I felt compelled to defend the attack and I fired four bullets toward the ground … as warning shots even," he said.

The 49-year-old said he then put down his weapon and went outside.

"I did go downstairs to see if someone had fled my yard or if someone was hit or what had happened. I didn’t speak to the boys at all. I let out an expletive actually to the tune of what the hell," Hammock said.

He said he heard the 14-year-old speaking to someone.

"I heard someone say, 'Cuz, I’m hit, I’m hit cuz,'" he said.

He said he didn’t see him or 15-year-old Keylin Mosley, who police said was dead from a single gunshot wound.

"Unfortunately, I didn’t have the presence of mind during the panic to call 911. I truly wish that I had," he said.

It was the younger teen who called 911. Police arrested Hammock the next day.

He said at his trial, much of the evidence proving there was another gunman and more than just the two teens on scene that night was suppressed.

"They are conveniently blaming me who was where I had every right to be, in my residence. None of this would have happened had they not jumped a 6-foot tall, locked privacy fence at 2:30, 2 in the morning with people who had fired up at the house," Hammock said.

Now, behind bars for 80 years, convicted of second-degree murder, attempted murder and assault, he Hammock the biggest causality is that of self defense.

"At 2 o’clock in the morning when someone is attacking your property and kicking in the door to your house, you don’t have time to card them and ask them what age they are or their intentions," he said.  ​

Hammock said he will appeal his conviction and sentence.

Mosley's family spoke after Hammock’s sentencing, saying they believe Hammock is in denial but that justice has been served.  ​