A former high school student charged with opening fire alongside a transgender accomplice on "transphobic" classmates at a Colorado charter school has been convicted of all 46 counts, including murder.
20-year-old Devon Michael Erickson and accomplice Maya "Alec" McKinney shot one student dead and wounded eight others when the pair fired inside a darkened classroom at STEM School Highlands Ranch on May 7, 2019, while the unsuspecting classmates watched The Princess Bride.
Erickson and McKinney plotted the fatal shooting just three days before graduation. McKinney, then 16-years-old, pleaded guilty last year and testified against Erickson. Erickson faces life in prison when he is sentenced in September. McKinney can be paroled after 20 years due to the boy's juvenile status.
Social justice crusaders on social media advocated to #AbolishPrisons for McKinney's release who was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole last July. McKinney was born female but identifies as male.
Leftists claimed that "oppressive society" and "a world designed to kill us" had driven McKinney to violence, alleging that he doesn't deserve to be punished for his crimes because it wasn't his fault that he committed the acts.
Instead, the social justice warriors advocated for the mass shooter to be able to "thrive as a trans person," and that the courts should disregard the first-degree murder and 16 other counts to which he pleaded guilty.
McKinney told police while in custody that he had targeted three students who bullied him for being transgender, but that he also wanted to make every student suffer like he had, the Denver Post reported.
The verdict Tuesday came less than 24 hours after closing arguments at the trial. Erickson was found guilty of 46 charges, including criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree-extreme indifference, arson, and criminal mischief.
Kendrick Castillo, 18, who attempted to disarm Erickson when the gunman's firearm jammed after several rounds, was killed in the shooting.
"I'm sure he was looking down today," the dead teen's father John Castillo told reporters, noting that he felt Kendrick helped the jurors make the final decision. "I believe, I feel, he was with us," he stated, calling the day "justice" for Kendrick.
The bereaved father testified at McKinney's sentencing hearing, stressing that he wanted the convicted murderer to receive the maximum sentence possible. McKinney was remorseful, telling the judge that he didn't want leniency.
"I don't deserve to come home," McKinney said at the time, recognizing his wrongdoings and countering leftist narrative online.
McKinney urged others who ruminate over committing crime to seek help, not internalize hatred until it morphs into real world violence.
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