Denver-area man gets 24 years in prison for shooting, killing teen

Source: First Judicial District Attorney's Office

DENVER — A Denver-area man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for shooting and killing a 16-year-old boy while he was “fooling around” with a loaded gun.

Jefferson County prosecutors said 24-year-old John Martinez (who was 23 at the time) and the victim, Zebulun Bacon, were drinking and smoking marijuana with another teen on July 24, 2017 when Martinez grabbed a loaded gun at his girlfriend’s mother’s house in Lakewood.

Prosecutors say Martinez, Bacon and the other teen were “fooling around” with the gun when Martinez pointed it at Bacon’s chest and shot him.

Martinez was convicted of manslaughter, assault and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor following a jury trial in June. He was sentenced Thursday.

Editor’s Note: Based on information from the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office, an earlier version of this story said Martinez was sentenced to 30 years in prison. It also said the incident happened at his girlfriend’s home instead of her mother’s.