BRIGHTON, Colo. — A Colorado man pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder Wednesday as part of a plea agreement that calls for him to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole after opening fire inside a crowded Walmart in suburban Denver.

Scott Ostrem, 48, also pleaded guilty to one count of attempted first-degree murder for endangering 45 other people inside the store in Thornton on Nov. 1, 2017.

Adams County District Attorney Dave Young said Ostrem, through his attorneys, approached prosecutors in August offering to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

At the time, Young said he was still considering whether to seek the death penalty against Ostrem. During discussions about the death penalty, Young said victims’ relatives “were unanimous” in wanting a quicker resolution to the court proceedings.

“The reason why we did this plea is to bring a sense of closure, at least in the court system, to them,” Young said. “I can’t sit here and tell you that they’re happy because they’re not. I don’t know that they will ever be happy with any resolution in this case.”

Police have said Ostrem walked into the store on a weekday evening, fired seven shots in about 20 seconds and left without saying a word.

Ostrem was working as a metal fabricator at a roofing company and his boss has previously said that Ostrem abruptly left work hours before the shooting.

Police said they later learned that he went to a shooting range. Surveillance video showed Ostrem firing at a target for a few minutes, then leaving.

At a June court hearing, police said they had not found the murder weapon, but that shell casings found at the store matched those found at the shooting range.

Police used surveillance video from about 200 cameras inside and outside the store to identify Ostrem …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News


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