Man found guilty in crime spree that left 1 dead


Eric Ukuni

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DENVER — A man charged with 24 counts, including first-degree murder, in a crime spree across Commerce City and Denver was found guilty by a jury more than two years after the events.

Eric Ukuni, 26, was detained by four men until officers arrived after he hit and killed Ernest Gurrini in a 7-Eleven parking lot at East 40th Avenue and Havana Street on Aug. 8, 2017.

Gurrini was a former vice principal at Aurora Central High School.

Prosecutors said that after a night of drinking and doing drugs at a Commerce City bar, Ukuni broke into the Mi Pueblo Market in the 6000 block of East 64th Avenue in Commerce City and attempted to rob store employees.

He then carjacked a pickup truck from a father and daughter in the store parking lot, then tried to run them over.

When officers from the Commerce City Police Department arrived, Ukuni took off in the stolen truck, the district attorney’s office said.

After a short chase, officers lost sight of the truck and terminated the pursuit.

Prosecutors said Ukuni struck and pushed a vehicle out of his path as he fled, intentionally hit another vehicle on East 40th Avenue, then crossed Havana Street where he hit and killed Gurrini, 66, next to a delivery van.

Ukuni then tried to carjack more vehicles in the 7-Eleven parking lot where Gurrini had just purchased coffee before he was detained.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 18.

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