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Jury finds man guilty of 2019 murder and robbery of 21-year-old victim in Lakewood

chris pride.png
Posted at 12:09 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 14:13:06-04

GOLDEN, Colo. — A man accused of murder and robbery in Lakewood in 2019 was found guilty by a Jefferson County jury Friday after two days of deliberation.

Christopher Michael Pride, 31, was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the shooting death of 21-year-old Roderick Vecchiarelli on June 17, 2019. A woman with Vecchiarelli, 49-year-old Angela Saiz-Ortiz, was shot during the robbery and survived. Pride was found not guilty of her attempted murder.

The shooting and robbery took place just after midnight on June 17 a few blocks southwest of Sloan's Lake Park. Officers with the Lakewood Police Department responded to a report of shots fired around the 1500 block of Depew Street, just north of W. Colfax Avenue.

Upon arrival, police found the two victims. Vecchiarelli sustained multiple gunshot wounds and subsequently died from his injuries. Saiz-Ortiz was shot multiple times in her legs but survived. Prosecutors said evidence in the case showed that the victims were robbed before they were shot.

The suspects fled the scene in a car, and later crashed near Sloan's Lake at 20th and Sheridan. Edgewater police took two people — the driver, 38-year-old Danny Carter, and a passenger, 37-year-old Michelle Lee Prissel — into custody after the crash.

Prosecutors said two additional passengers in the car fled the scene, both are believed to have fired the shots. One of the males, identified through cell phone records and surveillance footage, was Pride.

Pride was arrested in Colorado Springs about a month after the incident. He was on federal probation and supervised probation at the time of the murder.

Pride has a lengthy criminal history with prior arrests for assault, robbery, motor vehicle theft, dangerous drugs, and multiple weapons violations. He will be sentenced on June 29 and is expected to receive life in prison.