STEM suspect faces new charges following jail fight

Older suspect allegedly instigated fist fight, charged with assault

Jessica Gibbs
jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/15/21

The older STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting suspect is facing new charges in a separate case after he allegedly initiated a fight with another inmate at the Douglas County Jail. Devon Erickson, …

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STEM suspect faces new charges following jail fight

Older suspect allegedly instigated fist fight, charged with assault

Posted

The older STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting suspect is facing new charges in a separate case after he allegedly initiated a fight with another inmate at the Douglas County Jail.

Devon Erickson, 20, was arrested in jail on March 29 on suspicion of attempted assault. Online court records show he is charged with one count of third-degree assault, a class 1 misdemeanor, and two counts of attempted third-degree assault, a class 2 misdemeanor.

Another inmate was arrested on suspicion of harassment, a class 3 misdemeanor, although the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office later dropped those charges.

Court records show a deputy in the jail found Erickson and another inmate “squared off” with one another after hearing “loud voices” in one of the jail's pods.

The deputy observed Erickson swing at the other inmate and miss. They yelled at the inmates to stop when the other inmate punched Erickson in the face, according to court records.

The deputy separated the inmates, placed the pod in lockdown and asked that two additional officers respond to the area. Erickson returned to his cell when asked while the other inmate was taken to an interview room, records show.

In his interview, Erickson told deputies the incident began when the other inmate asked if someone could make a call on his behalf. Erickson said he could not “because they are watching his phone calls,” to which the inmate reportedly replied, “That's because you are a murderer.”

Erickson said he approached the inmate and told him not to call him a murderer, also describing the other inmate as taking “a fighting stance.”

Video footage from the jail showed the two talking before Erickson “got up and made an abrupt move towards (the other inmate) and attempted to strike him with his right hand,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Erickson missed and the other inmate returned his punch, striking him in the face.

Both inmates were arrested, Erickson on suspicion of attempted third-degree assault and the other inmate for harassment.

The 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office on April 13 filed a motion to dismiss all charges against the other inmate, stating the office did not believe it could prove the allegations against him in trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Erickson's case remains open. His next court appearance is a pre-trial conference on May 25.

He was initially appointed a public defender, but records show the court is arranging for alternative representation because the public defender's office is also representing Alec McKinney, the other STEM School gunman who is a witness in the STEM case.

Erickson goes to trial for his alleged role in the STEM shooting beginning with a motions hearing on May 21 and jury selection on May 24. He is represented by private attorneys in the STEM case, Julia Stancil and David Kaplan, who could not be reached for comment.

Erickson faces dozens of charges including felony first-degree murder for his role in the STEM shooting, which left 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo dead and eight other students injured on May 7, 2019.

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