Life sentence in Westminster shooting death

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BRIGHTON – A 37-year-old man drew a life sentence for his part in a 2018 shooting death at a Westminster apartment complex.

An Adams County District Court jury convicted Juan Castorena in July of first-degree murder in the beating and shooting death of a Westminster man, 23-year-old Ricardo Rivas.

It happened in January outside the Greenbriar Apartments at 83rd and Federal Boulevard.

When officers arrived, they found Rivas, who had been shot in the head. Castorena and Rivas were involved in an ongoing dispute at the time. A press statement from the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Castorena lured the victim out of his apartment before Castorena and another unidentified man beat Rivas. As they were leaving, Castorena pulled out a handgun and began firing at the victim.

The statement said an eyewitness identified Castorena as the shooter. In addition, the suspect’s DNA was on Rivas’ face. The defendant’s social media records contained conversations between him and Rivas before the shooting.

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

17th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Juan Castorena, Ricardo Rivas, DA Brian Mason

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