DENVER (CBS4) – The 40-year-old man who stabbed and killed a 21-year-old man at the National Western Complex in Denver last year when they were both staying there during the COVID pandemic has been convicted on a murder charge. Christopher Smith stabbed Jared Villaluz-Jones in the neck on June 16, 2020.

Christopher Smith (credit: Denver Police)

Last Friday a jury found Smith guilty of second-degree murder.

According to the Denver District Attorney, the incident began after the victim cut in front of Smith, who was in line for a shower. The confronation continued in the dormitory area of the facility, which was being used as a shelter during the coronavirus pandemic.

Witnesses said that the yelling match continued and that’s when Smith pulled out a knife and began stabbing the victim. He was later pronounced dead.

The DA’s office said that the parents of the victim said the following about the conviction: “We ask you to take note of what you hold dear. We ask you to hug your children. We all must do what we can to keep each other safe.”

A sentencing hearing for Smith has been scheduled for Sept. 17.

Jesse Sarles