In Packed Courtroom, Next Hearing Scheduled For STEM Shooting Suspect
Around 80 students and family members packed a Douglas County courtroom Friday during a short scheduling hearing for one of the two STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting suspects.
The parents of Kendrick Castillo, the student who was fatally shot trying to stop the May 7 shooting at the school south of Denver, were present in the courtroom. Many others wore T-shirts reading “STEM Strong.”
The lawyers representing 18-year-old Devon Erickson asked for more time to review evidence in the case before the preliminary hearing. That includes interviews, body camera videos and dash camera videos.
Erickson appeared in court Friday wearing a red-orange jumpsuit. He sat quietly during the proceedings.
The defense asked the judge to schedule the next hearing in the fall. They said it would take one person 176 days to review all the video evidence.
“I don't know the pace they set for work. It would not take me that much time,” said 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler.
He told the judge the defense’s request was excessive and that such a hearing does not require that much preparation time. He said two months should be enough time for the defense to review the necessary evidence.
“This is not a mini-trial,” Brauchler said. “This is not a trial of any kind. It is a hearing to determine whether or not this person should be held without bond and to determine whether or not we have probable cause to make him stand before a jury on certain felony charges.”
The judge decided the hearing will be held Sept. 24 through 26.
The necessary length of the hearing was also a point of contention between the defense and prosecution. Brauchler said the hearing could be over in a few hours. The defense asked for the three-day allowance.
Brauchler asked at the suspect’s last hearing for the charges in the case to be released to the public. The court has not yet agreed. Brauchler said the reasons are “procedural” and he thinks they will be released in the “near future.”
“There are some things the court needs to rule on before it can take up that issue,” he said, but he believes the court is in a position to release the case file after redacting the names of juveniles and other sensitive information.
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