Former student guilty of murder in Colorado school shooting

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FILE – In this May 15, 2019, file photo, Devon Erickson appears in court at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo. Erickson one of the suspects in a fatal attack at STEM School Highlands Ranch in May 2019 had become such a chronic drug user in the months before the shooting that he likely “couldn’t think, concentrate or understand” events around him that day, a toxicologist called by the defense testified Friday, June 11, 2021. Erickson has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the school shooting that killed 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo and injured eight others. (Joe Amon/The Denver Post via AP, Pool, File)

DENVER (AP) — A former student accused of teaming up with a classmate to kill teens in a suburban Denver classroom in 2019 has been convicted of over 40 criminal charges.

Tuesday’s verdict for Devon Erickson includes a murder conviction for the death of a student who tried to stop the attack, Kendrick Castillo.

The verdict came less than 24 hours after lawyers delivered closing arguments.

The defense argued that Erickson was manipulated and pressured into participating in the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch by his younger friend, Alec McKinney.

Erickson faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the murder conviction and more years for the other charges.

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