Joseph McCaughin, who shot teen dead in a jealous rage, is convicted of murder

A man who killed a 16-year-old, the new boyfriend of his former girlfriend, was found guilty of first-degree murder by an Arapahoe County jury.

The jury returned the verdict Wednesday after deliberating for about three hours, according to a district attorney’s office news release.

Joseph McCaughin, 20, of Aurora, was convicted for the May 6, 2019, death of Ryan Robertson, the release said.

“It’s tragic to see yet another young man’s life cut short by the petty jealousy of a man with a gun,” said District Attorney John Kellner, in the release. “Not only did this defendant kill another person, but he put little kids in harm’s way as he was shooting. Clearly he is a danger to this community.”

McCaughin shot Robertson near Wagon Trail Park in Aurora, firing multiple shots and hitting the victim twice before running away. The gunfire was toward Independence Elementary School, where adults and children were in the line of fire, the release said. No one was hit. McCaughin, who was arrested in Georgia eight days after the shooting, had made a death threat against his former girlfriend prior to the shooting.

“McCaughin made his intent and his plan crystal clear,” Deputy District Attorney Grant Grosgebauer told the jury. “He went looking for his victim and he was carrying a gun.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 9. The statutory penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison without parole.


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