Three high school seniors were arrested Throwing a terrain rock A Colorado woman was killed while driving outside Denver, authorities said Wednesday.
Alexa Bartel, 20, was killed in Westminster on April 19 at 10:45 p.m. when a rock hit her windshield while driving north in the 10600 block of Indiana Street. A Jefferson County sheriff’s investigators.
Authorities said Bartel was the last of several cars “to be hit by a large landslide that began shortly after” near 100th Avenue and Sims Street in Westminster at 10 p.m.
Joseph Ncholas “Mitch” Carroll-Chick, Joseph Koenig and Zachary Kwak, all 18, were taken into custody at their homes in Arvada, according to the sheriff’s report.
All three suspects are Class 12 students Jefferson County Public Schools, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jackie Kelly said. One attends Ralston Valley Hok SSchoolAnother goes Stanley Lake Hok SSchool And about one-third have enrolled in the online program, according to the spokeswoman.
A representative for the school district could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Officials said a rock thrown by the suspects killed Bartell, and there was no further mishap.
“The rock came through Alexa Bardell’s windshield and hit her and killed her,” Kelly told NBC News on Wednesday. “The rocks we’ve described in this crime series are all 4 to 6 inches in size and 3 to 5 pounds a piece. They’re big rock landscaping rocks.”
The suspects traveled that night in a black 2016 Chevy Silverado, although it was not immediately clear who drove or threw the rock that killed Bartell, authorities said.
“We believe our victims vehicle was traveling in the opposite direction,” Kelly said.
A case was registered against all three on suspicion First degree murder by gross negligenceAccording to the sheriff.
While first-degree murder is usually related to the victim and intent, Colorado’s gross negligence statute is for defendants who intended to kill someone—but not the targeted individual, said Ann England, a University of Colorado medical law professor.
“If you pull out an AK-47 and fire into a crowd of people, there’s no doubt that you intended to kill,” England said, even if it wasn’t aimed at a specific person.
“It would be difficult to throw a rock (and be charged with first-degree murder). I mean, is throwing a rock a known danger (that it could kill someone)? If you throw a rock at a moving car, it’s obvious that someone is dead now, right? But before that? I’m not entirely sure.
It was not immediately clear whether the three had hired or appointed criminal defense attorneys to speak on their behalf.
Phone calls to publicly listed phone numbers for Kwak and Carol-Chik’s Colorado relatives were not returned Wednesday.
All three teenagers were expected to appear in court as early as Thursday morning.