Man sentenced to life in Westminster killing

BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) – A man convicted in a deadly 2018 shooting at an apartment complex on Federal Boulevard has been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced the sentence on Thursday. An Adams County jury found Juan Castorena, 37, guilty of first-degree murder on July 19. The trial lasted seven days.

“This was a brutal crime and now another life is lost to gun violence,” District Attorney Brian Mason said. “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.”

Timeline of events

On Jan. 30, 2018, Westminster officers were summoned to the Greenbriar Apartments on Federal Boulevard after reports that shots were fired.

Once officers arrived at the complex, they found Ricardo Rivas, 23, dead in the parking lot from a single gunshot wound to the head.

According to investigators, Castorena, who had an unnamed accomplice with him at the time, lured Rivas out of his apartment.

Once outside of his apartment, Rivas was attacked and beaten by Castorena and the unnamed accomplice. As the two were leaving the scene, Castorena pulled out a handgun and began firing at Rivas.

Investigators learned that Castorena and Rivas had been involved in a dispute. Social media records obtained by investigators also revealed that Castorena and Rivas had been messaging each other minutes before the shooting.

Castorena’s DNA was also found on Rivas’ face and eyewitness testimony revealed that Castorena was the shooter.

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