Second Colorado teen pleads guilty in rock-throwing death of 20-year-old woman

Jefferson County Court
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Jefferson County Government Center, including county courts, June 12, 2023.

A second teenager accused of throwing a rock through 20-year-old Alexa Bartell's windshield, killing her, pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Court Wednesday.

Nicholas Karol-Chik, 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, crime of violence and criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree.

Karol-Chik originally faced 15 charges, which were dismissed as a result of the plea. He will serve a minimum of 35 years in prison, with the maximum being 72 years, according to a press release from District Attorney Alexis King’s office. 

Last week, 19-year-old Zachary Kwak pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, second-degree assault and attempted second-degree assault. Kwak faces up to 32 years in prison. 

The third suspect, Joseph Koenig, also 19, is still awaiting trial. He’s charged with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Koenig’s trial is scheduled to start in mid-July. 

Bartell died on April 19, 2023 after she was struck by a rock that was thrown through her windshield. As part of his plea, Karol-Chik confirmed that on the day of Bartell’s death, he was driving the truck and engaged in a spree of rock-throwing, damaging multiple vehicles. 

He admitted to throwing rocks, concrete and statue heads from a moving vehicle multiple times between February and April. Nine other people reported having stones hurled at their vehicles while driving during that period. Those allegations were the basis of the attempted murder charges.