Trans teenage school shooter sentenced to life in prison
A trans teenager has been sentenced to life in prison after taking part in a school shooting in Denver, Colorado, that saw one student killed and eight injured.
According to Reuters, Alec McKinney, 17, was sentenced to life in prison plus an extra 38 years after pleading guilty to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and related charges in February, 2020. As a minor, McKinney will be eligible for parole in 40 years.
McKinney was 16 years old at the time of the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting. According to an arrest warrant affidavit, he planned the shooting with his 19-year-old defendant Devon Erickson as revenge after years of bullying.
The two teenagers took cocaine, then stole guns from Erickson’s parents before storming the school on May 7, 2019.
One student, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, was killed trying to stop them. Eight other students were injured, one by a bullet from a security guard’s gun.
Erickson, who prosecutors said was responsible for shooting Castillo, pleaded not guilty to all charges and will face trial in September. As an adult, if found guilty he could face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Before the sentencing, McKinney tearfully said he took responsibility for his actions, and told Douglas County District Court: “I don’t want a lighter sentence.”
Castillo’s father was present at the sentencing, and said McKinney was a coward who shed “crocodile tears”. Breaking down, he added: “These are real tears. I condemn you to hell.”
The victim’s mother also spoke at the sentencing, and said: “I will never forgive you. My only wish is to see you dead, burning in hell.”
According to CBS Denver, Isabelle Perochini, a STEM School Highlands Ranch student who witnessed the shooting, testified in court.
She told McKinney: “You were born a mistake. You are such a failure and always will be… you are a waste of tax dollars.”