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Teen charged as adult sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to two Denver murders

Posted at 1:35 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 15:35:13-04

DENVER — A now-18-year-old accused of two murders two days apart in 2020 was sentenced to prison in Denver District Court on Monday.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann announced that Jayque Owens was sentenced to 58 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections for the crimes.

He is accused of murdering 23-year-old Yaun Yae Long at a liquor store parking lot on July 5, 2020 and, two days later, shooting and killing 22-year-old Kalani Hayter in a car.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | May 5, 11am

Owens was charged as an adult in the crimes. He was 16 years old at the time.

He pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to two counts of second-degree murder.

“Charging a juvenile as an adult is something we take extremely seriously because the juvenile brain is still developing and young people can be very impulsive and susceptible to peer influence,” McCann said. “In this case, Jayque Owens deliberately planned these murders and his actions rippled through Denver’s Montbello community affecting its youth in particular. We simply cannot allow that in a civil society.”

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