ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A jury found a man who shot and killed the new boyfriend of his former girlfriend guilty of first-degree murder in the boyfriend’s death. The Arapahoe County jury deliberated for about 3 hours on Wednesday before returning the guilty verdict against Joseph McCaughin, 20, who killed Ryan Robertson.
“It’s tragic to see yet another young man’s life cut short by the petty jealousy of a man with a gun,” said District Attorney John Kellner in a statement. “Not only did this defendant kill another person, but he put little kids in harm’s way as he was shooting. Clearly he is a danger to this community.”
McCaughin killed Robertson, who was 16 years old when he died, on May 6, 2019. According to the Arapahoe County District Attorney, McCaughin broke into the home of his former girlfriend earlier that day.
His former girlfriend had begun dating Robertson and McCaughin told her, “If I ever see (Robertson) again, I will kill you and him.”
That evening, McCaughin and Robertson, who had two friends with him, ran into each other near Wagon Trail Park in Aurora. That’s when McCaughin and Robertson exchanged words, and then McCaughin shot six to seven times at Robertson before running away.
Two of the shots struck Robertson and he died from his injuries. When McCaughin started firing, surveillance video and witnesses confirmed he was firing towards Independence Elementary School, where numerous adults and children were outside and in the line of fire. Fortunately, no one else was injured.
Eight days later, Aurora police located McCaughin in Georgia.
“McCaughin made his intent and his plan crystal clear,” Deputy District Attorney Grant Grosgebauer told the jury. “He went looking for his victim and he was carrying a gun.”
McCaughin’s sentencing is set for Nov. 9. The statutory penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole.