Jury convicts Aurora teen of murder in vape juice robbery case

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AURORA | An Arapahoe County jury last week convicted an Aurora teenager of first-degree murder and other charges for his role in the shooting death of a Cherokee Trail High School senior two years ago.

It took jurors several hours on Friday to determine 19-year-old Kenneth Gallegos shot and killed 18-year-old Lloyd Chavez during a botched vape juice sale in Centennial on May 8, 2019, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office.

Gallegos, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was found guilty of three felony counts: first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. The verdict came following a six-day trial.

Prosecutors said the shooting occurred after Gallegos and others went to Chavez’s house to buy pods filled with liquid meant to be vaporized with an e-cigarette or pen.

“This defendant planned this crime and carried it out,” District Attorney John Kellner said in a statement. “When the victim was bleeding on the ground, the defendant did nothing to help him. Lloyd Chavez was killed over vape juice pods, and his life is over because of this defendant.”

Chavez was a member of the Aurora Saracens rugby team.

Because Gallegos was not a legal adult at the time of the murder, he will be eligible for parole after 40 years in prison. He remains incarcerated at the Arapahoe County jail while he awaits to be sentenced on June 2, according to county records.

A co-defendant who is also accused of participating in the shooting, Demarea Mitchell, is slated to stand for a separate trial on felony murder and robbery charges in July.

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Trebor Cadeau
Trebor Cadeau
23 days ago

Thank you, jurors, for all your time and anguish over this.
How sad that Gallegos destroyed two lives over nothing. Chavez’s life and his.
Please keep Gallegos in prison untihe is 60 so that he cannot harm citizens for 40 years.