Judge rules teen suspect will stand trial in STEM school shooting


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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A judge says prosecutors have enough evidence for a teenage suspect to stand trial on dozens of charges in connection with the school shooting in Highlands Ranch that killed a classmate.

Judge Jeffrey Holmes ruled Monday that 16-year-old Alec McKinney should stand trial on more than 40 charges, including murder, in the May 7 shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

McKinney is currently being tried as an adult. McKinney’s defense team wants the case sent back to juvenile court, where the teen would face far fewer years behind bars if convicted of any of the 48 counts he is facing, including first degree murder. In juvenile court, the maximum punishment would be 7 years in prison compared to life in prison.

That will be determined as the probable cause hearing continues. It started Monday morning and is expected to last up to a week.

More: Full coverage of the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch

In September, a judge found that McKinney’s alleged accomplice, 19-year-old Devon Erickson, could be prosecuted on 44 charges that include murder and attempted murder.

Eighteen-year-old Kendrick Castillo was killed in the shooting after he and two other students rushed one of the shooters in a classroom.

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