Three teenagers who were arrested in late October in connection with a mass shooting at Santa Rita Park in Durango were formally charged Friday with 20 felonies, including first-degree murder.
Two of the defendants – Justin Maez and Kayden Hernandez, both age 17 – were charged as adults.
Sixth Judicial District Attorney Christian Champagne did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment about why his office decided to charge the juveniles as adults.
All three suspects, including Dominic Ethan Baker-Alires, 19, appeared Friday in 6th Judicial District Court. Maez and Hernandez appeared via video conferencing because they are being held at a juvenile detention center in Grand Junction.
Attorneys for all three defendants waived formal reading of the charges, meaning District Judge Suzanne Carlson didn’t have to go through all 20 charges with each of the defendants.
The charges include first-degree murder after deliberation and first-degree murder as an act of extreme indifference. Examples of extreme indifference could include driving a car into a crowd of people or shooting into a crowd – intentional acts that are likely to result in death.
They are also charged with multiple counts of first-degree assault and attempted first-degree murder.
Maez, Hernandez and Baker-Alires are accused of showing up at Santa Rita Park in anticipation of a fight. Instead of showing up to fight, they exited a black Dodge Charger with guns blazing, according to an arrest affidavit.
The shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. Oct. 23 near the basketball courts at the park.
Rodney D. Bellino, 47, was killed in the shooting. A 15-year-old boy was shot in the foot, a 17-year-old boy was shot five times and another 17-year-old boy was shot at least three times, according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement arrested at least two of the suspects within a half-hour of the shooting. They recovered spent shell casings, two handguns and an AR-15-style rifle.