Teen suspects in rock throwing killing to face first-degree murder, assault charges

The three suspects face more than a dozen charges in connection with Bartell’s death and a series of other incidents across the metro area in mid-April that injured three other people
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Posted at 1:12 PM, May 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-03 15:12:58-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Three teenagers accused of killing 20-year-old Alexa Bartell earlier this month, after allegedly throwing a rock at her car in Jefferson County, are set to be charged Wednesday, May 3, with more than a dozen charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, assault, and attempted assault.

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Nicholas Karol-Chik, Zachary Kwak and Joseph Koenig — all 18 years old — are set to be in Jefferson County Criminal Court at 1 p.m. Wednesday. They face the following 13 charges:

  • Count 1: First-degree murder - extreme indifference
  • Count 2-7: Criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder
  • Count 8-10: Second-degree assault
  • Count 11-13: Criminal attempt to commit second-degree assault

On April 19 between 10 and 10:35 p.m., seven vehicles were hit by rocks in northwestern Jefferson County, according to a release from the First Judicial District Attorney's Office. Alexa Bartell lost her life and three others were injured in connection with the rock-throwing incidents.

"We thank the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for their investigation and the community for their commitment to identifying the suspects. Based on the available facts and after careful legal analysis, we have filed charges and will now move forward with a criminal prosecution. It is important to remember that these individuals are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty. As in every case, our goal is to seek justice," said District Attorney Alexis King in a statement.

Karol-Chik, Kwak, and Koenig are being held without bond.

Last week, the three teenagers appeared before a judge via video call after they were arrested and their affidavits were released, revealing the teens took a photo of Bartell's car after they'd thrown a rock at it to keep as "a memento."

Our partners at Denver7 spoke with another one of the rock-throwing victims who told us he was glad the teens were arrested.

"They took somebody's life. They've cost several victims, financial hardships for having to fix things that, you know, they weren't planning to get fixed and not to mention the trauma that everybody has to go through over this," said Nathan Tipton.

The hearing for the teens is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Hundreds of people went to the Storyline Church in Arvada over the weekend for Bartell's celebration of life. The Denver Post reported a table inside of the church was filled with photos of the young woman and people crossed aisles to embrace each other throughout the celebration.

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