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Man convicted in killing of his grandmother in Westminster

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Posted at 2:05 PM, Apr 29, 2021

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A Westminster man has been found guilty in the killing of his grandmother in 2019, officials announced Thursday.

John Swenson, 25, was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 75-year-old Linda Shomberg in December 2019.

“This brutal crime shocks the conscience,” District Attorney Brian Mason said in a statement. “The defendant’s brutality against his own grandmother was truly unspeakable. I appreciate the jury returning a just verdict in this case.”

Swenson will be sentenced on May 10.

Officers with the Westminster Police Department had responded to a call regarding a welfare check around noon on Dec. 9, 2019. The police department had received the call from a woman who said she was concerned about her mother, Shomberg, since she hadn't heard from her in three days, according to an affidavit.

When two officers arrived to the East Bay Senior Housing complex, located at 3720 68th Avenue, they knocked on the door, but nobody answered. The door was unlocked, so they opened it a few inches and introduced themselves, according to an affidavit.

When one of the officers looked in the apartment, he said he saw a very neat and clean room.

Both officers walked into the home, yelling for Linda and asking if anybody was home. Nobody responded, according to an affidavit.

The bedroom door was open and the officers walked in to find Shomberg in a pool of blood on the floor of her apartment, according to an affidavit. She was breathing hard, but was unresponsive. Her hair was soaked with blood.

Shomberg was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. Emergency room staff said she had multiple fractures to her face and a brain bleed.

Police said they saw blood splatter on the bedroom wall by the door, on a shoe cabinet and on the bedspread. They also saw Shomberg's seven-day pillbox and noticed pills from the Thursday section were missing.

One of the officers who responded to the welfare check reached out to the woman's daughter — who had called police requesting a welfare check earlier that day — to gather more information. She told police the last person to talk to Shomberg was one of her nephews, who lives out of state. She said she, as well as the rest of her family, hadn't been able to get a hold of Shomberg since the afternoon of Dec. 5. The daughter said she was concerned because her nephew, John Power Swenson, had been staying with Shomberg, and that he was on parole for burglary or robbery and is homeless. She described her nephew as a "meth user," according to the affidavit.

She said the family is afraid of Swenson. When the officer told the daughter that her mother was injured and being transported to a hospital, she said she felt like Swenson did something to her, according to the affidavit.