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Man sentenced to life without parole in 2018 Adams County murder

Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 18:24:29-04

DENVER — An Adams County man was sentenced earlier this week to life in prison without parole after he was convicted in July of first-degree murder in the January 2018 shooting death of a man at a Westminster apartment complex.

Juan Castorena, 37, was convicted on July 19 of killing 23-year-old Ricardo Rivas in the parking lot of the Greenbriar Apartments along Federal Boulevard in Westminster on Jan. 30, 2018.

Police were called to the lot and found Rivas dead with a gunshot wound to his head. Police said they found Castorena had lured Rivas out of his apartment amid an ongoing dispute, that he and another man had beat Rivas, and that Castorena shot him as they were leaving.

Investigators found Castorena’s DNA on Rivas’s face, and investigators found messages between him and Rivas that were sent shortly before the shooting. Castorena was sentenced on Tuesday.

“This was a brutal crime and now another life is lost to gun violence,” 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason said in a statement. “I’m grateful to the Westminster Police Department for conducting a lengthy and thorough investigation and to my team at the District Attorney’s office for securing a conviction in this difficult case.”