Photos: 36 shocking Colorado murders -- and the ones targeted with the death penalty

Categories: Colorado Crimes

kara-lounsbury-10.jpg
Murderpedia.org
Kara Lounsbury. More photos below.
Last July, we told you about the decision by prosecutors at the Denver DA's office to seek the death penalty against Dexter Lewis, charged with killing five people at Fero's Bar & Grill in October 2012. Lewis's attorneys are reportedly asking the judge in the case to take capital punishment off the table with the support of CU professor and death-penalty opponent Michael Radelet.

Last year, Radelet put together a letter to Governor John Hickenlooper's office that highlighted studies he'd conducted arguing against the death penalty, with one section pointing out how inconsistently (and rarely) it's been sought in Colorado even for the most shocking crimes. Look below to learn more about 36 Colorado murders, whether or not prosecutors asked for capital punishment and what ultimately happened, featuring text from Radelet's letter.

1. Alexander, Jeffrey Kirk. Denver. March, 1992. Convicted of killing his girlfriend's mother, brother and niece. Alexander broke into the victims' home and waited for two hours before the victims arrived, when he then shot them. Alexander also shot and critically injured a 6-year-old nephew of the former girlfriend.

Death penalty: Sought

2. Anaya, Steven. Denver. April & July, 1999. Anaya pleaded guilty to second degree murder for killing Ronnie Regalado in July 1999, and to manslaughter for the death of Ruben Macias Morales in July 1999. In 2002, Anaya was found guilty of killing a Denver restaurant patron in April 1999. All three murders were committed while Anaya was age 17.

Death penalty: Not sought

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Damian Arguello.
Arguello, Damian M. Adams County. January, 2005. A cocaine addict, Arguello was permitted to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in exchange for a life sentence for killing his wife and 16-month-old son. Former Adams County District Attorney Don called it "the most horrific" crime he had ever seen in his 18 years as a prosecutor. The victims were all Hispanic.

Death penalty: Not sought

4. Bell, Michael. Boulder. August, 1990. After escaping from prison, Bell murdered a convenience store clerk in Broomfield, and later shot and killed three men in Lefthand Canyon in Boulder. Bell eventually pleaded guilty to all four murders and was sentenced to LWOP.

Death penalty: Sought

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A screen capture of a vintage news clip featuring Kenneth Botham.
5. Botham, Kenneth H. August 1975. Mesa County. Botham was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death for the murder of his wife, and was also convicted of three counts of second-degree murder for killing a neighbor and her two sons. In 1981 original convictions were vacated by the Colorado Supreme Court. At retrial in 1982, Botham was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with parole eligibility for one of the murders, and three terms of 20-30 years following convictions for second degree murder for the others.

Death penalty: Sought

Continue for more about 36 shocking Colorado murders -- and the ones targeted with the death penalty.


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27 comments
merripeterson100
merripeterson100

If hooky know their guilty burn em that's all there is to it...

Sher Quintana
Sher Quintana

Drug addicts commit crimes everyday that they never pay for..the cheat and steal from family friends and victims and never ever ever have to pay...until that changes we are all victims and targets for drug addicts!!!!

Liz Blank
Liz Blank

The reason why the say that the victims are "all Hispanic" is because there are statistics that show that when murder victims are white, the murderer is much more likely to receive the death penalty than if the victims are of an other ethnicity. My guess is the cases in this article that reference that are quotes taken directly from Dr. Radelets letter to the Governor, as Radelet has done a lot of research on race and the death penalty.

Liz Blank
Liz Blank

The reason why the say that the victims are "all Hispanic" is because there are statistics that show that when murder victims are white, the murderer is much more likely to receive the death penalty than if the victims are of an other ethnicity. My guess is the cases in this article that reference that are quotes taken directly from Dr. Radelets letter to the Governer, as Radelet has done a lot of research on race and the death penalty.

Nicole GuBrath
Nicole GuBrath

You're right. I live in Colorado Springs and I'm pretty sure they were addicted to methamphetamine, not taking methadone!

Levi Wilbert
Levi Wilbert

Who's writing these posts, Westword? Whenever I see a post that say, "blah blah blah blah blah. But what happened next blah blah blah", I am instantly enraged by the mindless dribble that is a copy of a copy of a copy of every post that gets shared from every quick look news reporting source, people who have only the shallowest interest in reading what is being put up. I now refuse to read whatever article has been posted. I value substance, is it so much to ask?

Kristin Berryhill
Kristin Berryhill

I'm just curious... And really not trying to make a big deal about it... But in two of the stories, you make it clear that "all victims were Hispanic", when race really isn't mentioned in the other stories. Is there a reason for that? I just found it kind of funny....

Debbie McConchie
Debbie McConchie

The picture labeled as Albert Petrosky is not correct. It looks to be the officer that he killed. I knew Al and that is definitely not him in the picture.

Dorinda Arledge
Dorinda Arledge

Methadone is given to heroine addicts to "help" them to get off of heroine... But these people are losers and probably were using meth as well... If anyone deserved the death penalty it is them...

Diana Leigh Robertson
Diana Leigh Robertson

Methadone (a narcotic) is quite different than "meth" which is an amphetamine....the story called it both which doesn't make sense

Jonathan Sublette
Jonathan Sublette

This is what Meth does, & the Feds have the audacity to put mmj in the same category. C1, what a shame. This is when I believe in the death penalty.

Nicholas Richter
Nicholas Richter

Well how you worded the summary, the answer probably won't surprise anyone.

Robert Hack
Robert Hack

Where is Dexter when you need him? Cheap and effective.

Daniel Hill
Daniel Hill

Bullshit! They murdered my friend Young Fero! They dropped her to her knees and slit her fucking throat execution style. All for 100 bucks!

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

I just can't believe a death penalty cost more than keeping a bum in prison for the rest of his life

Eric Valles
Eric Valles

A lot of the crimes where death penalty wasn't sought out was becuase they were given plea bargins or plead guilty of the bat saving the courts and counties hundreds of thousands of dollars on a trial....granted there were a few that weren't even sought out but still this argument still has a few flaws in it

John Scruggs
John Scruggs

The death penalty is stupid, expensive and ineffective.

Phil Knight
Phil Knight

Full support. Some peeps just dont deserve to breath anymore..

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