DENVER (CBS4) – A man who authorities say killed a 33-year-old man, dismembered his corpse and left some of the remains in two suitcases in southwest Denver late last year has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The Denver District Attorney’s Office announced Benjamin Satterthwaite’s guilty plea on Thursday morning and called it “horrific.”

Benjamin Satterthwaite

Benjamin Satterthwaite (credit: Denver DA)

Crews were plowing snow from the sidewalk in the 1700 block of South Java Way on Dec. 29 when they discovered the suitcases. The remains inside were identified through DNA analysis as Joshua Lockard. Authorities believe he was killed a few days before the discovery.

Denver police said they arrested Satterthwaite, 29, after responding to a medical call at an apartment on South Federal Boulevard and found “evidence and a crime scene consistent with the homicide case.”

The DA’s office says the cause of Lockard’s death “was never determined.” Police said they believed the victim and suspect knew each other.

Satterthwaite is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 12. He could face between 25 and 30 years in prison.

Jesse Sarles