Friday, September 17 marked the end of the trial of Devon Erickson, two years after he and another student entered the STEM Highlands Ranch High School and shot several students, killing fellow classmate Kendrick Castillo during the altercation. Castillo intervened and lay down his own life to save his classmates.
The fatal shooting occurred in may of 2019 and left a scar in not only the community of Highlands Ranch High School, but also in the state.
After a long hearing court of testimonies from survivors, parents and teachers. The 18th Judicial District Court Judge Theresa Slade declared Erickson guilty of first degree murder with extreme indifference, first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder and 30 counts of criminal attempts at first degree murder, in addition to 12 other charges related to the shooting.
During the hearing, all of the testifiers asked for the life sentence, stating that the defendant did not show any remorse for what he did and the pain and trauma he caused. Kendrick’s Castillo mother was the last one to speak. In an emotional delivery, Maria Castillo condemned Erickson’s actions and demanded life sentence for him as well.
“”We don’t want to forget Kendrick, but it’s an emotional journey that most people will never understand, and I hope they don’t”John Castillo, Kendrick Castillo’s father
Erickson’s parents also testified, told him they loved him and that they pray for the families affected by the shooting everyday and hope they can find forgiveness in their hearts.
Erickson is the second shooter. Alec McKinney was also charged of first degree murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon on school property, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole plus 38 years in July of this year.