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Pueblo man found guilty of murdering Fountain Police Officer after his fatal fall from a bridge

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) - A jury of 12 in El Paso County has decided the verdict in the murder trial of Fountain Police Officer Julian Becerra. That jury found Devon Bobian guilty of all five charges he's facing: 2nd-degree-murder, aggravated robbery, vehicular eluding, felony menacing, and car theft.

This comes after passionate closing arguments by the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office and the defense team for Devon Bobian, the man accused of murder.

Bobian faces 16-96 years in prison. He will be sentenced at a later date. Before sentencing, the district attorney's office will have to prove that Bobian is a habitual criminal, meaning someone with at least three felony convictions. If they prove that, Bobian could face the maximum penalty of 96 years in prison.

On Feb. 2, 2023, K9 Officer Becerra was one of many officers chasing three suspects in a stolen blue sedan. The chase took them from southeast Colorado Springs, into Fountain, onto both sides of I-25, and then onto South Academy Blvd. Investigators state the suspects were driving recklessly and drove the wrong way down lanes at several points during the pursuit.

RELATED: Fountain officer dies chasing man who spent six months in prison on court-ordered 3-year sentence

The chase eventually led officers to a Love's Travel Center in Fountain. According to the new arrest affidavit, the three suspects were seen near a silver Toyota 4Runner in the parking lot. The owner of the Toyota told investigators she was about to pump gas when one of the suspects approached her, flashed a gun at her, and demanded her keys and to empty her pockets.

RELATED: Affidavit details moment when Fountain Police Officer fell from bridge during pursuit

In court Friday, the prosecution was tasked with convincing the jury that Bobian is guilty of felony murder. That law states that someone is guilty of murder if someone dies while they are in the commission of another felony crime. In this case, the prosecution is alleging that Bobian is guilty of robbery for attempting to steal Palmer's 4Runner, and while he was fleeing from law enforcement, Officer Becerra died from injuries sustained while attempting to stop him.

They allege the evidence is clear, arguing to the jury "this is murder" during Friday's closing arguments. They also presented evidence that showed Bobian lunge toward Becerra moments before he fell from the bridge along South Academy Blvd.

Bobian's defense attorney, Beau Worthington, argued in his closing arguments that Becerra's death was a "tragedy," and said that Bobian being charged with murder was an "overreach" by the agency investigating Becerra's death, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Worthington told the jury the law enforcement officers investigating whether to charge Bobian with murder were likely clouded with "bias" because the person who died was also a law enforcement officer.

Monday, after the verdict was read, El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen commended the sacrifice of Officer Becerra.

"Women and men all across the United States get up every day, put on the uniform and badge and go to work. They don't know if today will be the last day they see their loved ones," Allen said.

In Bobian's case, he could have faced live in prison with no parole. However, in 2019, Colorado lawmakers changed the law around felony murder. Felony murder is when someone is committing another felony crime and someone dies in the commission, or while attempting to flee that crime.

Lawmakers converted felony murder from a class-1 felony to a class-2 felony. This means prosecutors must charge felony murder as 2nd-degree murder and not 1st-degree murder. As DA Allen explained, this means a person like Bobian, convicted of felony murder, will be allowed parole from prison at some point.

"As a result of that statutory change, they are now subject to 16 years to 48 years in prison with mandatory parole of 5 years. The impact of that, obviously, is that it takes away the highest level punishment that we have available to us in the state of Colorado," Allen said.

Allen says he testified against this change in law back in 2019 when it was being considered by lawmakers.

"In my mind, it's a disservice to victims of crime. We're talking about violent offenders who are engaging in violent criminal activity out in the community, like aggravated robbery, who in the course of that violent action, kill somebody else. And in my mind, those people should be sentenced to life in prison without parole," Allen said.

Bobian will be back in court for the aforementioned habitual criminal trial on July 3rd. He will be sentenced after that at a later date.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.

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Emily Arseneau

Emily is the Digital Content Director for KRDO NewsChannel 13 Learn more about her here.


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