Prosecutors will not seek death penalty for 19-year-old STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting suspect

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — Prosecutors for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Thursday they will not seek the death penalty for Devon Erickson, the 19-year-old accused in the deadly STEM school shooting last year.

District Attorney George Brauchler said Thursday, “It is my determination and my intention not to seek the imposition of the death penalty against the Defendant in this case.”

Erickson is facing 44 felony counts for his alleged role in the deadly STEM school shooting last school year.

John Castillo, the father of Kendrick Castillo, who was killed during the shooting, spoke to FOX31 following the announcement from the DA.

“It’s something we would have liked to have seen, but the DA feels otherwise.” said Castillo.

Last month, Alec McKinney, the other suspect accused in the shooting, plead guilty to 17 charges related to the shooting.

The plea included convictions on first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after deliberation and attempted murder after deliberation, among several others.

Recently, the state legislature voted to abolish the death penalty in Colorado. If it is signed into law, Erickson’s murder case would still qualify for the death penalty as would other murder cases that have been and will be charged before July 2020.

However, experts told FOX31 it would be rare for executions to occur after the punishment is abolished.

“Even if they sought death, it’s kind of unlikely that he would get it,” said Michael Radelet, a death penalty researcher who is a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, of Erickson’s case. “I don’t know of any cases ever (nationally) where anybody on death row was, at the time the death penalty was abolished, later executed.”

Radelet said it is also extremely rare that someone so young would be placed on death row.

McKinney’s sentencing is scheduled for May 18 at 9 a.m

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