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Teenagers Charged in Killing of Colorado Woman After Throwing Rock Through Windshield

Zachary Kwak, Nicholas Karol-Chik and Joseph Koenig. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Three high school seniors were arrested and accused of hurling a landscaping rock at a Colorado woman, killing her as she drove just outside Denver, authorities said Wednesday. The arrest affidavits released on Thursday indicate that the suspects, two 18-year-olds, Joseph Koenig and Nicholas Karol-Chik, and one 16-year-old, Zachary Kwak, took the photo of Bartell’s car after the incident and talked about being “blood brothers” and that they could never talk about this incident again.

Alexa Bartell, 20, “was killed when a rock was thrown through her windshield as she was driving” north in the 10600 block of Indiana Street about 10:45 p.m. in Westminster on April 19, Jefferson County sheriff’s investigators said in a statement.

Bartell’s was the last of several cars “struck by large landscaping rocks in a spree that began shortly after” 10 p.m. near 100th Avenue and Simms Street, officials said.

Tips from the public and cellphone data played key roles in finding the suspects and making the arrests, sheriff’s spokesperson Jacki Kelley told reporters. The suspects appeared via Zoom before First Judicial District Judge Mark M. Randall in the Jefferson County Courthouse on Thursday. They did not enter a plea and are due back in court on May 3. The three suspects are currently being held without bail.

This case has been met with shock and outrage by the community, with many questioning why the suspects would take a photo of the crime scene as a souvenir. It is unclear what the motive was for the crime or why the photo was taken, but the crime has been called senseless and incomprehensible. The suspects are facing serious charges, and this case is sure to be closely watched by the community.