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Alec McKinney, STEM School shooting suspect, pleads guilty

Alec McKinney
File photo of convicted murderer Alec McKinney

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KRDO) -- One of the teenagers arrested after the shooting at STEM School in May 2019 has pleaded guilty to 17 counts.

Prosecutors say 16-year-old Alec McKinney planned the shooting that killed one student, Kendrick Castillo, and injured eight others.

Friday, McKinney pleaded guilty to over a dozen charges in connection with the school shooting in Highlands Ranch. Those guilty pleas include:

• first-degree murder in the death of Kendrick Castillo;
• conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after deliberation;
• 6 counts of attempted murder after deliberation
• attempted murder extreme indifference (this count is amended to name everyone who was not physically shot in room 107)
• second-degree assault (this count identifies the victims who were injured as a result of the security guard’s response to the active shooter situation)
• conspiracy to commit arson
• conspiracy to commit burglary
• conspiracy to commit criminal mischief
• possession of a weapon on school grounds
• possession of a handgun by a juvenile
• 2 crime-of-violence sentence enhancers

McKinney faces a maximum sentence of life plus 407.5 years in the Department of Corrections.

No matter how long his sentence, McKinney would be eligible to be released from prison within 20 or 25 years under a 2016 state law that applies to inmates sentenced when they were under 18, according to the Associated Press.

In November, a judge decided McKinney would be tried as an adult and face the same 43 charges as his co-conspirator 18-year old Devon Erickson, including first-degree murder.

Erickson pleaded not guilty on January 2. His case is still pending.

He claims McKinney forced him to go through with the shooting, after recently befriending him to participate.

Snapchat videos played during Erickson's preliminary hearing show Erickson allegedly using cocaine, and what is assumed to be McKinney's voice telling him to, "****ing do it!"

We have KRDO crews headed up to Castle Rock for McKinney's hearing. Check back here for live updates.

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Julia Donovan


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