DENVER (CBS4)– A key witness in a death penalty case in Denver has refused to testify.

Dexter Lewis is on trial for stabbing five people to death in a Denver bar during a botched robbery attempt.

Dexter Lewis in court on Monday (credit: CBS)

Dexter Lewis in court on Monday (credit: CBS)

Lewis, 25, is charged with killing five people inside Fero’s Bar & Grill on South Colorado Boulevard in October 2012 and then setting the building on fire.

Two co-defendants, brothers Lynell and Joseph Hill, pleaded guilty to the killings in July 2013 in an agreement to testify against Lewis. They said he had accompanied Lewis to rob the bar.

Fero's Bar and Grill after the stabbings (credit: CBS)

Fero’s Bar and Grill after the stabbings (credit: CBS)

Joseph Hill was scheduled to testify on Thursday but refused to take the stand. He has already been sentenced to life in prison. His brother, Lynell, remains in prison on a 70-year sentence for the murders.

The victims included 53-year-old Young Suk Fero, an Aurora woman who owned the bar; Daria M. Pohl, 21, of Denver; Kellene Fallon, 44, of Denver; Ross Richter, 29, of Overland Park, Kansas; and Tereasa Beesley, 45, of Denver.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Lewis also is charged with trying to hire a former prison cellmate to kill several witnesses who were expected to testify against him.

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