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1998 ‘Labor Day Massacre’ Convicted Under New Juvenile Crime Law

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – A man convicted of first-degree murder in five so-called “Labour Day Massacre 1998” in Aurora was avenged 22 years later.

Alexander Pogosyan 17 years and 11 months on the day five people were shot dead, execution style, in two different homes on September 7, 1998. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. amnesty in 1999 .

However, the US Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that it was unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to life in prison without the possibility of pardon.

Following the 2012 ruling, a law was subsequently passed in Colorado requiring all juvenile offenders sentenced to life in prison to be re-convicted and eligible for parole within a short period of time. at least 30 years and not more than 40.

‘I love my mother, but she’s dead’

The murders claimed the lives of Zach Obert, Edgardo Morales Jr., Marissa Avalos, Greg Medla, and Penny Medla Bowman.

After serving 22 years in prison, 41-year-old Pogosyan on Tuesday faced the judge and loved ones of the victim for a re-sentence.

With the Supreme Court decision and subsequent Colorado law, Judge Eric Barclay White faced a decision to issue a new sentence of 30-50 years with a 10-year pardon or a new life sentence with amnesty after 40 years.

Several relatives of the victim spoke in court, sharing the trauma Pogosyan inflicts on them on a daily basis and the extra pain this resentment has brought on them by pleading for the strongest sentence.

When she was just 7 years old, Kayla Reichert witnessed her mother being killed right in front of her face. Her brother was also murdered that day in the massacre. She presents her diary from the days after losing loved ones.

“I love my mother, but she’s dead, I love her,” said Reichert, with a picture of me standing over her bleeding body as I cried.

Defense declares ‘scapegoat’ for murders

The defense demanded that Pogosyan be given a lighter sentence and then, once released or pardoned, they asked him to go through immigration formalities in order to be sent to Russia for the rest of his life.

Defense attorneys say the jury initially found Pogosyan guilty of first-degree murder. The judge said this was a judgment based on the opinion that Pogosyan’s presence at these murders predisposed him to commit the murders, even without pulling the trigger.

The second suspect and accomplice, 18-year-old Michael Martinez, was found shot dead on the day of the murders. The defense said he pulled the trigger in all five of the execution-style killings. Pogosyan was suspected but never charged in Martinez’s death, and the defense argued that he was the “scapegoat” for the murders because Martinez could not face justice.

The judge ultimately ruled that Pogosyan would face five consecutive life sentences and be eligible for parole after 40 years. However, the 40-year eligibility is rooted in his original conviction from 22 years ago with an additional credit of 285 days prior to the incarceration sentencing.

“I was nervous, I was nervous for a second,” says Reichert. “The best outcome is still not the best outcome for our family. No matter what, we will still suffer. ”

“I will be in every amnesty hearing,” she said. “I will be at every court ruling for the rest of his life.”

https://kdvr.com/news/local/labor-day-massacre-convict-resentenced-under-juvenile-lifer-law/ 1998 ‘Labor Day Massacre’ Convicted Under New Juvenile Crime Law

JACLYN DIAZ

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