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Man convicted of first-degree murder despite death of witness

A just convicted Steven Young in the death of John Cyprian in Aurora last June. He also faces charges in the death of a witness to that crime.

AURORA, Colo. — Despite being accused of killing a key witness in the case, a jury convicted a man earlier this month in the shooting death of another man last June in Aurora, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Steven Young was convicted of first-degree murder on April 2, in one of the first jury trials to resume following a lengthy pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 1, 2020, just before 12:30 p.m., John Cyprian was walking along 16th Avenue near Akron Street in Aurora with a woman named Charley Lewis when he was shot, prosecutors said.

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As the pair was walking, a man driving a large gray SUV pulled up nearby, and the driver, identified as Young, exited the vehicle and charged at Cyprian, according to prosecutors.

Young shot at Cyprian, hitting him in the small intestine and damaging a major artery. He crawled to a nearby field where he died. Young returned to the SUV with Lewis, and the two fled the scene.

Six days later on June 7, 2020, a bicyclist found the body of Lewis in an alley in Denver behind 1065 Federal Blvd, according to the Denver Police Department (DPD).

According to the arrest affidavit from DPD, surveillance video and HALO footage captured Young and Lewis walking together in the area in the hours before her body was found. DPD looked over "shot spotter" data reports and found that a single gunshot was fired in the area where her body found at 4:23 a.m.  About two minutes later, Young is seen on video leaving the alley without Lewis, the affidavit says.

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Young was arrested in connection with Cyprian's death on June 8, a day after Lewis was found dead.

Young is set to be sentenced on April 16 in Adams County District Court for the death of Cyprian.

He's scheduled to be tried in Denver District Court for the murder of Lewis later this year.

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