DPD Det. Mark Crider: Long road from Fero’s massacre to trial’s end

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Defense Finishes Closing Arguments In Dexter Lewis’ Death Penalty Trial.

DENVER (CBS4) – Jurors spared the life of Dexter Lewis on Thursday when they decided the convicted murderer would be sentenced to life in prison rather than face the death penalty.For the second time this summer, a first-rate team of Colorado prosecutors could not secure a death sentence for the perpetrator of crimes of almost indescribable horror.DENVER (AP) — A man convicted of stabbing five people to death at a Denver bar and setting the business on fire will not be executed and instead will serve a lifelong prison sentence, a jury decided Thursday.In August, a separate jury in suburban Arapahoe County rejected the death penalty for another mass murderer — Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes, who killed 12 people.

Lewis was found guilty of killing five people inside Fero’s Bar & Grill on South Colorado Boulevard and then setting the building on fire in October 2012. That conclusion is entirely defensible and perhaps even predictable — just as it was always plausible that defense attorneys would convince at least one juror in Holmes’ trial that he was too mentally ill to be put to death. Lewis’ defense attorneys carefully detailed his abusive childhood, which included Lewis watching his father treat his mother brutally and endure beatings and verbal abuse of his own. “I’d hit him with a belt, hit him with my fists. … None of the victims’ family members spoke after they left court on Thursday but Morales spoke for them, “They accept the jury’s verdict, they knew all along this could be a possibility.” The victims include 53-year-old Young Suk Fero, an Aurora woman who owned the bar; Daria M.

They will likely focus on the choice Lewis had to commit the crimes and the reality that not everyone who has a difficult childhood follows a similar path. Then walked in a confidential informant from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Demarea Harris, who was at the crime scene with the three defendants. The defense spoke about a history of physical and sexual abuse, drug and alcohol use, and frequent violence within the family; but also as part of gang activity. During his closing arguments Thursday, defense attorney Christopher Baumann leaned heavily on testimony from Lewis’ family about the abuse he experienced as a child, coupled with expert testimony about the long-term impacts of such abuse. Had the case reached the third and final phase of the sentencing, the victims’ families would have testified about how the deaths of their loved ones changed their lives.

Her mother, Zinaida Pohl, declined to speak Thursday evening when reached by phone. “We have no regrets about what we’ve done in this case or what we sought in this case. It is one that needs to be sought,” Morales said. “And if the jury does not decide unanimously that it is the right penalty, we respect that.” Eight of the jurors left in a group and were escorted out of the courthouse by three sheriff’s deputies, and the jurors who left individually also had a deputy escort.

They were her friends — people she knew and trusted,” her estranged husband, Danny Duane Fero, said. “She didn’t have a mean bone in her body.” Daria “Dasha” Pohl, 22, worked at the Holiday Inn near the bar. She was a sophomore at Metropolitan State University of Denver and planned to transfer to the University of Colorado Denver to pursue a business degree.

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