Devon Erickson
Devon Erickson appears in court at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo. Erickson one of the suspects in a fatal attack at STEM School Highlands Ranch in May 2019 had become such a chronic drug user in the months before the shooting that he likely "couldn't think, concentrate or understand" events around him that day, a toxicologist called by the defense testified Friday, June 11, 2021. Erickson has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the school shooting that killed 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo and injured eight others. (Joe Amon/The Denver Post via AP, Pool, File)
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From the Associated Press . . .

One of the suspects in a fatal attack at a suburban Denver high school in 2019 had become such a chronic drug user in the months before the shooting that he likely “couldn’t think, concentrate or understand” events around him that day, a toxicologist called by the defense testified Friday.

Toxicologist Wanda Guidry said Devon Erickson was severely malnourished because he ingested cocaine, marijuana and cough syrup nearly daily, and he suffered from long-term sleep deprivation and insomnia, The Denver Post reported.

“I believe it created psychiatric symptoms … disruption in mood, behavior and thinking,” Guidry said of the drugs found in Erickson’s system hours after the shooting. “He had a very difficult time figuring out or thinking of what he needed to do, what was right or what he wanted to do.”

Defense attorneys rested their case Friday without testimony from Erickson. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Monday, followed by jury deliberations.

Erickson, 20, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in the May 7, 2019, shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch that killed 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo and injured eight others. The other student charged in the shooting, 18-year-old Alec McKinney, pleaded guilty in February 2020 and is eligible for parole because he was a juvenile at the time of the attack.

Erickson was 18 at the time and could face life in prison without parole if he is convicted.

Chief Deputy District Attorney George Brauchler argued that Erickson agreed to participate in the attack as long as it looked like he was pressured into it and or could emerge as a hero by killing McKinney.

Brauchler said the students’ concocted “victim-hero” strategy unraveled after Castillo rushed Erickson when he pulled out a gun inside a darkened classroom as students watched a movie. Erickson’s gun went off, Castillo was killed and others tackled him, he said.

Their other possible scenario, in which McKinney killed himself, was stymied after an armed security guard apprehended him, Brauchler said.

Erickson’s lawyer, Julia Stancil, said her client was manipulated into joining the attack by McKinney, a new friend who preyed on him during a family crisis.


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  1. I don’t care about his drug use, that was voluntary and does not exonerate his actions.

    Hang, firing squad, electrocution or IV, doesn’t matter. He admits what he did, and does not appear he was coerced , so get on with the execution.

      • I’m sure a pretty boy like that will receive daily “stabbings” from half the Bubbas in the prison.

    • Why let it take the easy way out? Life in solitary. As in strapped down to a solid metal bed and slid into a 6’x2’x1′ concrete hole in the wall for 24 hours a day. You could have two dozen cells in the space currently taken by one.

        • Again, if we want to punish someone as harshly as possibly, why let them take the easy way out? The family and friends of the victims have to live with their loss for the rest of their lives, why do we let these parasites off easy by only letting them have a few years on death row before they’re gone? They should have 60, 80, whatever years left to think long and hard about what they did.

    • But I thought drugs only hurt the user? Now they have experts saying clouded druggie judgement could harm others? They better get their story straight.

      • But pot is gooood yet ANY wiff of tobacco is sure to kill you soon (but keep sending the legislature piles of tax $).

      • Would you have been happier if they had been drunks? The drug war is a war upon the American people.

        • I would have been happier if those self-hating idiots with no respect for life wouldn’t have shot innocent people. Settle down with the drug war talk. I was merely pointing out a contradiction.

        • And I guarantee you drugs did not help the mental state of those kids in the lead up to the shooting, but I don’t blame it on the drugs.

        • The “drug war” is and has been a war upon the Constitutional liberties of the American People. Whether or not one “does drugs”, this war is chomping big bites out of our freedoms.

  2. And where does this punk azz mauve haired weenie get the $ to ingest mythical quantities of drugs?!? Hmmm? Mommy n daddy I presume. I’d hate to be “him” in the joint…

  3. “Erickson’s gun went off, Castillo was killed and others tackled him, he said.”

    The “gun went off”…bad, bad gun!

    • Lol. Ok boomer.

      On a side note, some boomer at TTAG is offended and the word boomer requires moderator approval.

      Boomer. Boomer. Boomer. Boomer

      “TTAG been going downhill since the 60’s”

      • @montana
        Your rv lot landlord wanted you to know your behind on your monthly dues again…. (If it’s not broken down, you might wanta head over to the Walmart lot for awhile.)

        If you have time to spare while leading the Rebel Alliance (rv command) and anonymously shit talking “boomers” longing for the old days, please clean your pubes outa the public bathroom shower drain before you leave.

        Your Hot Pocket is done…..

      • Montana moron….
        A BOOMER is a nuclear missile launching submarine except when used as a pejorative by 2 digit IQ midgets.
        But by all means continue proving you millennial loons have no clues just your hurt snowflake feeling.

  4. “Toxicologist Wanda Guidry said Devon Erickson was severely malnourished because he ingested cocaine, marijuana and cough syrup nearly daily,…”

    Why is it this song lyric came to mind when I read that? :

    “Livin’ on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine
    All a friend can say is, “Ain’t it a shame?…”

    The ‘Breakfast of Champions’, 2021… 🙁

    • Well that explains my lack of champion hood.
      Here all along I thought Coors was the breakfast of champions.

      • Now way, I was so cool in high school people would have me hold their beer just to keep it cold.

      • Sticking up for the school shooter….you’re one of the special ones. Maybe we should call a social worker to walk you through one of those mental health breaks you snowflakes are so fond of.

  5. The kind of country the USA is becoming is where there is a mass murder of people every other day and absolutely the only idea put forward is everyone should carry a gun. You really are the laughing stock of the world now.

    • “You really are the laughing stock of the world now.”

      Yet the number one place someone who is actually being persecuted or oppressed wants to go is, the United States of America.

      Stay in your worthless little piece of sh!t country, we don’t want the likes of your type here, anyways.

      We laugh at *you*… 😉

      • My country has a higher standard of living than yours, is safer, has a better education system with better test scores, secure borders, we work less per year, and best of all you don’t live here.

        • Don’t worry, Geoff is part of the problem. He doesn’t speak for real gun owners. Pay him no mind and he’ll skitter off…

        • “My country has a higher standard of living than yours, is safer, has a better education system with better test scores, secure borders, we work less per year, and best of all you don’t live here.”
          Actually this an outright LIE.
          There is no ONE country that has all of those things.

          We did leave our dune buggy on the moon.
          Your fake-ass country will never drive it.

        • Sure you do… and yet when the shit hits the fan… everybody in the world runs screaming to the USA for help…. war, famine, disease, you name it… not a soul ever comes to you or even expects you/your country to help in any fucking way…. go fuck yourself kid – adults are talking here

        • “My country has a higher standard of living than yours, is safer,…”


          “Those who trade essential liberty for temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety…”

          Money doesn’t buy happiness, son.

          The best things in life are on the dangerous side. You are welcome to continue to lick the boots of your masters and do as you are told… 🙂

        • wonder how long you’d continue that “lifestyle” without us?…maybe you people ought to start protecting yourselves?

        • “Pay him no mind and he’ll skitter off…”

          It really pisses you off to no end, doesn’t it?

          Free clue – The only one who will whimper away like a dog that gets kicked on a regular basis is *you*, little boy.

          I suggest you consider me as an excellent opportunity for you to work on your (obviously non-existent) coping skills.

          Barring that, consider taking yourself out, precisely no one here will miss you… 😉

        • All the good things you named about your country were not accomplished by keeping weapons out of private hands. Your thinking is flawed if you believe your safety or prosperity comes from surrendering your God given right to self protection.

      • Tough Talkin’ Geoff is a coward who wants to help the government give the ineffective Covid vaccine at gunpoint and who will fold like a cheap suit when TSHTF. He and the detestable IHAQ are cut from the same pathetic cloth.

    • Why is it that brown people are streaming to our borders, especially since we are supposed to be a racist Country?

      Why is people have risked life and limb to come to this Country? In light that people like you think we are so messed up.

      How many people leave this Country at risk of life or limb to go somewhere else better?

      In one day more people enter this Country than people leave it behind in a year.

      Because of people like you, we have people who lack of responsibility because you coddled and never corrected bad behavior. People like YOU are the reason I carry a firearm. I do not know when or where your kind is going to go off.

      • You need not bother defending yourself from me as I will never visit your country. You need to protect yourself from purple hair people of your own country like the picture above shows. Fools.

        • This dude has probably already snuck into our country and we are paying for his internet. Show some respect you POS.

        • The people you created.

          As for “your” Country, you seem prideful but do not identify it. I am sure it is to shield yourself from facing your own problems and lacking the ability to lawfully defend yourself by any manner.

          Here we have strived for a more perfect Union, even fought a war among ourselves to further realize the promise of our Founders. We have a ways to go, it could be further along, but we always have plodded on our course. A few bumps, some setbacks, but always the contingent of freedom loving responsible Americans keep pressing forward while others look back.

          People from all over the world come here, probably many escaping your Country as well. How bad could we be if we are the destination many people dream of?

        • And today’s combat action keyboard commando award goes too…

          The superior being from utopia.

          All that needs to be said is:
          Prove it.

          Safer? Subjective.
          Better education? How so?
          Better test scores? Lol, ok.
          Secure borders? So it’s okay for the government to “secure” borders, but not citizens to defend their property?
          Higher standard of living? Prove it.
          You work less? Fuck does that even mean? You earn less? You think a future is just given to you? You are proud of this?

          You seem so proud, yet you are scared to lie online because you know it’s bullshit.

          You are from California.

        • “You need to protect yourselves from purple hair people,,,”
          We are !
          Its just that law gets in the way.
          But my main beef is you dont get no beef. I mean with all these dead , youd think the price of meat would go down, I dunno? Seems the cop bunch always hauls them off. I cant figure out hows come Americans waste bullets on something you cant eat. Dont make no sense to me, what do you think, what’s it like in your country?

        • “You need to protect yourself from purple hair people of your own country like the picture above shows.”

          That’s why we carry concealed firearms. You are welcome to beg for your life when a criminal holds a knife to your throat as he robs you.

          Be sure not to piss him off as he rapes your wife and young daughter in front of you. Maybe he won’t kill you so there’s no witness to his crime.


          The fool is the one who allows his government to deny your right to self-defense, fool… 🙂

        • “Shown in this picture: 18 Americans struggle to stay afloat aboard a raft made of plastic soda bottles as they flee their country to the safer shores of Venezuela”, said no one ever.

      • Paratrooper – Looking@crazy is just a punk troll – notice no country is named – He/it/them/they/she – has none worth mentioning.

        • I’m figuring that this twit inhabits some Grand Fenwickian Duchy with a GNP somewhere on par with Rhode Island or Delaware, whose sole exports are postage stamps, cuckoo clocks, and chocolate bars, and that was regularly overrun by more masculine, virile neighbors until American soldiers showed up to save it.
          His mother was a hamster, and his father smelt of elderberries.

        • It isn’t New Zealand, islands cannot have secure borders and they make 35% less then an average American. The cost of living is 12% higher then the US so no New Zealand.

          No, the guys a troll, while the US is severely flawed in many areas, every person on the planet wants to come here to live.

    • This mass shooting happened in a ‘gun free zone’, in case you’re in need of some facts.

    • So, what’s the alternative? The gun grabbers’ solution is passive acceptance of victimization. I can think of an alternative to privately owned firearms for self defense but it would be ruinously expensive. That is, to build a whole hell of a lot of secure psychiatric hospitals and even more prisons. Commit a violent felony and you go to prison for the rest of your life or into a hospital if you are mentally ill.

    • Mass murder happens in other countries. It is usually done more quietly so it is rarely reported.

    • LC – you didn’t hit 50words. Is the Soros coven still paying you trolls when you posts are under 50?

  6. I had a Castillo guitar , it was real purdy. Sadly I got drunk on McKinney Whiskey and did the Jimi Hendrix

  7. “The world” can foad. In fact, without the freedom fueled economic engine of the USA, get fucked and die will be exactly what most of the world does. So I and most of the rest of this country will continue doing what we think best, keeping the global economy afloat and not caring what a gaggle of needle dicked, pencil necked foreigners think.

  8. I’ve gotta say that it’s amusing he’s another mass shooter looking for fame. It’s like we should have common sense media control.

    • Like every time one is caught lying they hang. Come to think of it sounds good for politicians to

  9. What an absolute piece of shit. Lock him up under the prison, since Colorado doesn’t have a proper punishment for this.

  10. He’s going to wish CO had a death penalty. That little emo has prison bitch written all over him.

  11. So tired of all these ‘professionals” who make their living by declaring no one responsible for their actions. No one would cry too much if a mass killer bumped them off. That would be poetic justice.

  12. When I see one of these pink, green or blue haired freaks, I almost immediately think some day this wack-job is going to climb into a clock tower with a 30.06 and start blasting away for no reason other than it hates people.

  13. “Toxicologist Wanda Guidry said Devon Erickson was severely malnourished because he ingested cocaine, marijuana and cough syrup nearly daily, and he suffered from long-term sleep deprivation and insomnia”

    Was he living on his own with no parents or family? 18 in high school is still a kid, and you never stop being a parent. Crappy parents and the intentional degradation of our culture is the reason for this, not guns.

  14. McKinney is a mentally ill biological female and should be referred to with feminine pronouns.

    • True. This Orwellian insistence on pretending to believe obvious falsehoods has to end. McKinney is obviously female.

  15. “The poor little Sociopath is the victim.” Who didn’t see that one coming?

  16. Gee, didn’t we “learn” from the George Floyd incident that it matters not what drugs are in your system?

  17. Let the victims or their family decide the punishment! You wouldn’t have these crimes if you used a wood chipper on a few of these 🖕🐀💩👜🦨!

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