GOLDEN, Colo. — A Jefferson County jury has found a man guilty on 24 counts after a high-speed crash in Lakewood that killed two men last year.
Jacob Bowen, 26., (above, left) and his passenger, 30-year-old Jesse Edmonds (right) were killed in the May 2019 crash. Both were from Kansas and were in Colorado on vacation.
The jury returned the verdicts Thursday against 28-year-old William Jokay-Szilagji following a one-week trial and almost two days of deliberation, the First Judicial District Attorney's (DA) Office announced.
The charges included four counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of first-degree assault and four counts of vehicular eluding causing serious bodily injury, according to the DA's office.
On May 19, 2019, Lakewood police (LPD) were called to a condo complex at 12350 West Nevada Pl and saw a stolen Toyota 4Runner in the lot with the engine running. They then saw Jokay-Szilagji run up and get into the vehicle, according to prosecutors, and they ordered him to stop.
Jokay-Szilagji ignored them and drove off, ramming a police cruiser and injuring an officer before driving through a wooden fence and through a pedestrian area, where he temporarily got stuck in a playground sandbox, according to prosecutors.
Minutes later two LPD agents who were stopped at the light at West Alameda and South Kipling parkways saw the 4Runner Jokay-Szilagji was driving speeding east on Alameda without its headlights on.
Jokay-Szilagji ran the red light and collided with a white Nissan that was traveling south on Kipling, according to prosecutors. The jury was told he had been traveling 105 miles per hour five seconds before the crash.
Two female passengers in the 4Runner suffered massive injuries.
The release said in the days leading up to the crash, Jokay-Szilagji had been on a crime spree that included theft of the 4Runner and use of financial transaction devices inside it, a home burglary where he stole a rifle, multiple wallets, credit cards and a tactical vest, a car trespass and the robbery of a person at a bar in Arvada. The stolen items were found in the vehicle after the crash, as well as 4.5 grams of methamphetamine.
The release said Jokay-Szilagji had injected meth prior to the crash, and that he still had the drug in his system 16 hours later.
Jokay-Szilagji faces decades in prison when sentenced on April 2
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