LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – More information has been released about the suspects in an robbery and deadly crash in Lakewood in December. Christopher Avery, 74, was in a car that was struck by a vehicle of fleeing robbers on Dec. 11 and killed.
One of the suspects, William Mays, 40, entered a guilty plea last week to felony theft of the Ulta salon in the Belmar neighborhood. He is named as a suspect in 11 other Denver metro area robberies.
His alleged accomplice, Donna Smith, 50, has been named in seven other robberies.
The third suspect is Logan Doutrich, 45, who police say drove the getaway car. He has not entered a plea yet.
After the crash CBS4 interviewed Avery’s widow Kathryn Avery and she shared a statement about his death:
The senseless killing on Friday of my husband, Christopher, in his car by three robbery suspects fleeing their crime has struck a nerve and opened the hearts of many in our community. The compassion and support expressed by complete strangers on the Lakewood Police Department’s Facebook page, along with those by my friends and family members, is breathtaking and heartwarming to me.
It is easy to torture ourselves as we read and think about this event by pondering what would have happened if my husband and the three suspects had each made different choices. My husband simply chose to drive to pick up some groceries, an innocent, every-day task. The robbery suspects chose to commit a crime and drive recklessly that day, endangering others. Every choice has a consequence, either positive or negative and each choice we make affects our next choice by reinforcing that decision and outcome. Simply put, a bad choice makes the next bad choice easier just as a good choice increases the chances of making another good choice. Far too often our choices are mindless. Now is the time to change this and to become mindful of our choices and the effects they have on ourselves and others.
We all feel helpless in such a moment of tragedy, but what can we do? Make better choices, even when they are difficult. I choose to not have this experience ruin my life and to find a way to honor my husband’s life by inspiring others to make positive choices and changes.
My grief, and the grief of those who knew and loved Chris, is overwhelming. But taking action gives us a sense of being in control. With so many others suffering from the economic devastation of the pandemic, losing jobs, and experiencing financial, food, and housing insecurity, as well as facing COVID and non-COVID related illnesses, we all can honor my husband’s memory by finding a way to reach out and help others who are hurting.
Make a donation to a food pantry or non-profit of your choice in memory of Chris. Share your good fortune, talent, and skills with someone who needs them. Listen, really listen, to others with an open and caring attitude, seeking to understand rather than to be understood. Make a choice to take action to make a difference and think of Chris when you do. Turn a collective sense of helplessness into a powerful movement for good. Nothing makes you feel better faster than helping someone else. There’s so much wrong with the world right now. Let’s use this senseless tragedy to do something right.
The job of notifying a victim’s family has to be the hardest job on earth. I would like to thank the team from the Lakewood Police Department who had the horrible job of notifying me that my world had just been shattered. Your compassion and professionalism are exemplary.
My journey forward from this tragedy is just beginning. During this holiday time of year that should be filled with joy and hope, I ask you to join me in making mindful choices and changes so my husband did not die in vain.