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Man sentenced to life for beating and killing man

The conviction and sentence came after a 2-year investigation.

The Adams County District Court convicted Juan Castorena of First-Degree Murder. A crime that came with a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

On January 30, 2018, Ricardo Rivas — a 23-year-old male — was found dead in a parking lot at the Greenbriar Apartments along Federal Boulevard.

Police discovered that Rivas had suffered from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

According to the investigation, Rivas was lured into the parking lot from his apartment. He had a disagreement with two men — one later identified as Castorena and the other remains unknown. 

Both men beat Rivas before leaving the scene. Before leaving, Castorena pulled out a gun and fired shots at Rivas, according to the DA's report. 

The Westminster Police conducted a two-year investigation before identifying Castorena as the shooter. The investigation revealed an eye-witness who was able to identify Castorena and DNA on Riva's face that matched Castorena's. The defendant's social media records also captured conversations between Rivas and Castorena just minutes before the shooting, according to the DA's Office.

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

Macie May

About the Author: Macie May

Macie May has built her career in community journalism serving local Colorado communities since 2017.
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