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Man sentenced in connection with murders outside Lakewood Walmart

Michael Mendoza pleaded guilty in January to charges related to the deaths of Damian and Dillon Wikoff.

GOLDEN, Colo. — A man who pleaded guilty to charges related to a shooting that left two brothers dead outside of a Lakewood Walmart in 2020 was sentenced Thursday to more than 20 years in prison.

Michael Mendoza, 20, pleaded guilty in January to reckless manslaughter, aggravated robbery and violent crime causing death or serious bodily injury, according to court documents. The other 10 charges against him were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. 

The video above aired in August 2020

Brothers Damian Wikoff, 18, and Dillon Wikoff, 17, were killed in the shooting on Aug. 23, 2020, in the parking lot of the Walmart at Wadsworth Boulevard and West Colfax Avenue. 

Mendoza was 17 at the time but was charged as an adult. His exact sentence is 20 years, six months. 

The Lakewood Police Department said the victims arranged to sell a homemade, untraceable "ghost gun" assembled from a kit they had purchased online, as well as to trade for another gun, outside the store.

Instead, police said, Mendoza recruited a group of teenagers to rob the Wikoff brothers. During the robbery, Marqueil Banks shot and killed the brothers. Banks was 16 at the time but was also charged as an adult. 

Banks, now 18, was convicted in March on first-degree murder and aggravated robbery charges. He will be sentenced on May 30. 

In May 2021, a defendant who was 15 at the time of the crime pled guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and received two years of juvenile intensive supervised probation.

In April 2022, another defendant who was 15 at the time of the crime pled guilty to first-degree murder and received four years in the Department of Youth Services.

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