CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – One of the two teens charged in the deadly shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch made another appearance in Douglas County Court on Friday. Alec McKinney is 16 but is being charged as an adult in the murder case.
The courtroom on Friday morning was packed with people showing their support for the family of Kendrick Castillo, the 18-year-old student who died in the shooting on May 7. Castillo died after being shot while tackling one of the shooters and eight other students were hurt. Devon Erickson is the other student facing murder charges.
Castillo’s parents attended the hearing in Castle Rock. They were greeted with hugs and some tears they sat in the front row for the hearing. McKinney’s family was also there and was emotional, according to a CBS4 crew.
The hearing began with the defense asking that McKinney not be shackled. But the judge ruled against that for safety reasons.
More than a dozen motions were brought forth by the defense, including asking for a reverse transfer hearing that would move the case back to juvenile court.
The prosecution said they will fight hard against that, but the judge did allow a hearing for this matter to be scheduled for the fall. The defense also asked for a closed courtroom to make sure their defendant gets a fair trial, but District Attorney George Brauchler argued that the public’s right to know is much greater an issue than the suspect’s privacy, and the judge agreed.
“In this particular case, the statute is clear: that the interests of the public in having access to cases just like this one is paramount and it outweighs in most cases the interests of a juvenile who’s being prosecuted as an adult in some sort of secrecy or anonimity,” Brauchler said.
A lot of evidence in the case, from videos to photos to documents, still needs need to be reviewed.
McKinney remained quiet throughout the hearing, except for when addressing the judge briefly at the start. The suspect will be back in court for a multi-day preliminary hearing and reverse transfer hearing. It is scheduled to start on Nov. 18 and end on Nov. 24.
STORY NOTE: McKinney is a female who identifies as male and prefers to be called Alec.