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Jury convicts man for fatal shooting

Javier Esparza was shot and killed in November of last year.

DENVER — Nearly a year after a 25-year-old man was found lying on his bedroom floor suffering multiple gunshot wounds, a Denver jury convicted his killer.

On Nov. 12, 2021, Denver police officers responded to an apartment at 1222 S. Federal Boulevard, where they found Javier Esparza. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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Officers also found Jerry Duong, now, 27, on a nearby bed in a fetal position. Duong told police Esparza was like a brother to him, according to prosecutors. At trial, prosecutors asserted that Esparza was fatally shot in the bedroom after a brief altercation with Duong.

On Nov. 8 of this year, a Denver jury deliberated for three hours before finding Duong guilty of one count of second-degree murder. The jury could have convicted Duong of first-degree murder, but instead found him guilty of the lesser charge, court records show.

Duong is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 19.

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