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Accused STEM school shooter charged after jailhouse fight

The altercation happened in late March between Devon Erickson and Jorden Benavidez.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The accused STEM School Highlands Ranch shooter had two misdemeanor charges filed against him after he was involved in a jailhouse scuffle.

>Video above: Opening statements were given in the trial of the accused STEM school shooter's trial on Thursday.

According to an arrest affidavit, a Douglas County Sheriff's deputy working at the detention center said he heard "loud voices" coming from the dayroom. The deputy said he looked up and saw Devon Erickson and Jorden Benavidez squared off at a table, the affidavit says.

Erickson then threw a punch at Benavidez, but missed, the affidavit states. The deputy said he yelled for the two to break it up and then saw Benavidez punch Erickson on the left side of his cheek, the affidavit says. The deputy yelled for the two to break it up and put the pod on lockdown, the affidavit says.

The deputy told Benavidez to come to him and then handcuffed him; Erickson was ordered to his cell, the affidavit says.

The deputy went to Erickson's cell and asked him what happened, the affidavit says. Erickson said Benavidez wanted Erickson to make a phone call for him, the deputy says in the affidavit. Erickson declined to make the call because "they[deputies] are watching his phone calls", the affidavit says.

Erickson said Benavidez then said, "that's because you're a murderer", the affidavit states. Erickson told Benavidez not to say it again and said Benavidez then repeated it, calling him a murderer, according to the affidavit.

Erickson said he got up and went around the table toward Benavidez, who had taken a fighting stance, the affidavit says. Erickson said Benavidez then hit him on the side of the face and that his jaw hurt, the affidavit says.

The deputy then went and spoke to Benavidez, who said Erickson threw the first punch, the affidavit says.

The deputy then reviewed surveillance video from the dayroom that showed the two have words, according to the affidavit. Erickson then got up and made an abrupt move toward Benavidez and tried hitting him with his right hand, the affidavit says. Benavidez followed the attempted punch with his own that landed on Erickson's right jaw, the affidavit says.

Erickson was charged with third-degree assault and attempted third-degree assault. Both of those charges are misdemeanors. Benavidez was charged with harassment, which is also a misdemeanor.

Erickson is currently on trial for first-degree murder and a slew of other charges related to the deadly shooting of Kendrick Castillo at STEM Highlands Ranch in May 2019.

Benavidez was being held on motor vehicle theft charges, according to court records.

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