Man convicted of deadly 2017 shooting at Cherry Creek State Park

Posted at 12:53 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 14:53:23-04

AURORA, Colo. – A 31-year-old man was convicted last week of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a man that happened during a barbecue at Cherry Creek State Park in August 2017.

An Arapahoe County jury convicted Joseph Wayne Washington, 31, of second-degree murder and several drug counts in the death of Jackson Lee Chavez, who was 26 at the time.

According to prosecutors, Washington shot Chavez twice after seeing him arguing with another man at the barbecue. Washington’s defense had argued that the shooting was done in self-defense.

“This defendant shot and killed Jackson Chavez by putting 2 bullets in his chest and neck. He did it on purpose,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Thomas Byrnes. “He showed no regard for the life of Jackson Chavez that day.”

Two friends of Chavez’s told Denver7 after the shooting that Chavez was an “amazing soul” who was “brilliant and very humble” and “would give the shirt off his back to anyone.”

Authorities said they found drugs and cash after searching Washington’s vehicle and home and that he violated a protection order by contacting a former girlfriend about the case.

Washington faces between 16 and 48 years in prison for the murder count in addition to more time for the drug charges. His sentencing is set for May 30.