COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The person accused of a mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs last November, has been sentenced to five consecutive life sentences in the Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole for the murders of five people.
23-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich was also sentenced to 2,208 years in the Department of Corrections. That's 46 consecutive 48-year sentences for the first-degree attempted murder counts.
Aldrich pleaded guilty to all five counts of first-degree murder and all 46 counts of attempted first-degree murder, and pleaded "no contest" to two charges of bias-motivated crimes.
"Because of the evidence presented, I believe there is a high probability of being convicted at trial to those counts, so I’m pleading no contest," the defendant answered the judge, when asked about their plea.
Aldrich uses they/them pronouns. They will not face a jury trial and will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The suspect entered the guilty plea Monday morning during an arraignment in an El Paso County courtroom. 4th Judicial District Judge Michael McHenry explained to the suspect and their legal team the implications of a plea deal and the rights they waived in pleading guilty.
The plea was expected after the Associated Press reported the suspect's plans earlier this month.
“I have to take responsibility for what happened,” Aldrich told the AP during a jailhouse interview for that story.
Club Q Shooting
Club Q survivors frustrated that suspect was interviewed by Associated Press
In the wake of that report, Denver7 spoke with some Club Q survivors who were frustrated that the AP had spoken to the suspect.
Michael Anderson, who was working as a bartender at Club Q on the night of the November mass shooting, was among the people interviewed for the AP story. He told Denver7 he thought it was "completely irresponsible" for the AP to interview the suspect in jail.
“All [the suspect] deserves is his day in court," Anderson said,
In a statement, the AP said it took "great care" in its reporting.
Club Q Shooting
These are the 5 victims of the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting
Prosecutors asked victims to prepare for Monday’s hearing by writing victim-impact statements.
The five victims of the Club Q shooting who died in the Club Q shooting were 28-year-old Daniel Aston, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, 40-year-old Kelly Loving and 38-year-old Derrick Rump.
Family members, friends and coworkers all spoke about how the tragedy has forever changed their lives and the community.
There is a news conference Monday afternoon following Aldrich's arraignment hearing.