LONGMONT, Colo. – The 15-year-old Lakewood boy accused of stabbing a young woman to death in Longmont Saturday evening had a list of people he wanted to hurt and had previously threatened several of his own family members, according to the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.
The boy waived his first court appearance Monday afternoon, and was denied bond pending his next hearing, which could come Wednesday. Prosecutors are expected to decide by then whether or not to charge the boy in adult court rather than juvenile court. He is being investigated on first-degree murder charges, officials said over the weekend.
Denver7 is not naming the suspect at this time because he faces juvenile charges.
In court, Boulder County prosecutors said the boy had a “death list” and had originally intended to go after the sister of the woman who was killed.
Though the county coroner’s office has yet to officially identify the victim, the principal at Green Mountain High School in Lakewood sent a letter out identifying her as Makayla Grote, a 2016 graduate of the school. The suspect was recently a student at the school, principal Colleen Owens confirmed.
RamNation Family- we are so saddened by the tragic news of GM grad Makayla Grote. School will be open from 10am-1pm for those who need support. Counselors will also be available upon return from break. Please come by if you or someone you know needs support.
— Green Mountain HS (@GMTVrams) November 20, 2017
Prosecutors additionally said in court Monday that investigators had found “troubling” text messages between the boy suspected of the murder and the victim’s sister, and that the boy was accused of assaulting his grandfather about a week before Saturday’s homicide.
In that previous incident, prosecutors said, the boy had also threatened his mother with a knife, and investigators allegedly found Molotov cocktails in his room. The boy also has a different pending case in Jefferson County, though prosecutors did not elaborate.
But on Saturday, prosecutors allege the boy went to the apartment in Longmont looking for Grote’s sister, but found her instead. He stabbed her multiple times on various parts of her body and fled, prosecutors said.
He added in court Monday that the boy left the scene after trying to attack Grote’s sister and possibly another person on the “death list.” The boy was arrested about seven hours later in Lakewood about a mile from the home of the third person on the list, prosecutors said.
A man who witnessed the last moments of the attack, and who was threatened by the suspect, remembered Grote as a friendly and nice young woman.
"She was really nice. She seemed very sweet. She’s walking her dogs most of the time I saw her,” said the neighbor, Michael Brown. "[I] was holding her hand while she was taking her last breath."
Boulder County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Catherine Olguin said the office had to do “a thorough review of the admissible evidence” before deciding whether the boy will face adult charges.
“The issue of whether to request transfer to District Court for trial as an adult will be made after careful review of the history of the defendant, and other factors under the juvenile code, in addition to the admissible evidence for the case,” Olguin said.
Grote’s father tells Denver7 she was a stock car racer at the Colorado National Speedway, and there will be a celebration of her life at the race track on Sunday. A GoFundMe page to help her family pay for expenses has also been set up.
Prosecutors are expected to decide by Wednesday morning if they will pursue adult charges against the boy.
The letter home to parents from Principal Owens reads as follows:
Dear Green Mountain High School Families,
There has been an incident of a former GMHS student making threats towards current GMHS students. Students reported this incident to school administration and local law enforcement. Both Jeffco Public Schools security staff and local law enforcement quickly intervened and the student that made the threats is currently detained.
As you know, student safety is a priority. Keeping our students and staff safe, communicating with our families about school issues, as well as respecting student rights and privacy, are core to our values at Green Mountain High School. Because we want to protect student privacy, we cannot share any details about the incident. However, I want to assure you we are aware and that we are taking action.
In addition to dealing with the individual students involved in the incidents, I’d like you to know that should a student need a trusted adult to talk to about concerns for themselves or others, we are here.
Please take some time to remind your student that any potential safety concerns should be reported to you and to the school, no matter how insignificant they believe it might be. Students may also call the Safe2Tell program to report safety concerns anonymously at 877-542-7233, or report online at https://safe2tell.org/.
We realize it is unusual to receive these types of messages, but we felt it was important to engage parents. We all must work together to ensure the physical and emotional safety of our students.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 303-982-9500. Thank you for your support.
Colorado National Speedway also sent out a lengthy statement about Grote’s death and her passion for racing:
On Saturday, November 18th, 2017 the Colorado National Speedway racing family lost one of its brightest young stars. Driver Makayla Grote, just 20 years old, was known to all at the Speedway where she practically grew up turning wrenches and grinding fenders with elite racers from around the country. Makayla discovered her passion for racing while competing in Go Karts at a very young age, but truly began to blossom in her sport when she entered the Pure Stock Division at CNS. Never was there a better ambassador for her sport, as Makayla was proof that anyone can achieve their dreams with hard work and dedication. If you wanted to find Makayla on a Saturday night, look no further than the Hot Pits at CNS, where she could always be found competing in her own race car, helping a fellow race car with theirs, or standing behind a video camera when she couldn’t get her hands dirty on a car. Behind the wheel of the car she built (and re-built) with her family, Makayla was respected by her fellow drivers and consistently placed in the top ten in both the Pure Stock and Super Stock Divisions. In late 2017, Makayla made the jump to the Grand American Modified Division, and was looking forward to building upon her experience at an advanced level.
Off of the track, Makayla was a humble and generous soul who gave without any thought of herself. Her kind and tender heart was worn on her sleeve, and despite balancing both a full time schedule of college courses and racing, Makayla still made time to volunteer in her community and organize special events for children in need. Her smile was infectious and blindingly bright, and even among her competitors and rivals, she was known for her compassion. The Sportsman of the Year award is generally given only to those in the racing community who demonstrate the very finest moral fiber in every aspect of the Sport. Such was her character that Makayla won it twice in her short racing career.
The racing community is more than just a network of people who can’t wait to turn left. We are a family. Today, our family grieves as we mourn the loss of a Daughter any family would be proud to call their own. Makayla Grote was loved deeply, and will be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Grote Family at this difficult time. A GoFundMe page has been established in Makayla’s name, and donations are greatly appreciated.