CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The 16-year-old suspect accused in the May shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch will be tried as an adult, a Douglas County judge ruled.
Judge Jeffrey K. Holmes denied Wednesday a motion to transfer Alec McKinney’s case to juvenile court.
The 16-year-old, who was born female and called Maya but who now identifies as male, faces dozens of charges, including murder, in the May 7 attack that killed 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo and wounded eight others.
McKinney's alleged co-conspirator in the shooting, Devon Erickson, faced a preliminary hearing in September, after which the judge in the case ruled that his case would move forward.
In his decision to continue the case in district court, Judge Holmes wrote that “Because of the serious nature of the crimes alleged here, there is little difference between the procedures that will govern the progress of the case irrespective of its assignment to adult or juvenile court.”
18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said he was pleased with the outcome and he planned on no further delays in the case.
“On behalf of the many, many victims and our community, I am satisfied and pleased that the court agreed that this mass shooting case should be resolved in adult court. I am grateful to the victims and their families for the patience and understanding they have shown as they navigate a challenging and often-times slow justice system. My office will continue to do all that we can to support them during this difficult time in their lives,” Brauchler said in a statement. “It is my intention to move forward without any additional delay towards the jury trial to which the defendant is entitled. Justice remains our steadfast commitment."