By Jamie Leary
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)- In exchange for a guilty plea, one of two teenagers involved in the death of a popular Denver chef will spend seven years at the Department of Youth Corrections.
Louis Lara-Marcias, 17, was sentenced on Thursday afternoon in Arapahoe County Court, charged with second-degree murder in the death of Nick Lewis, 33.
Lewis was the executive chef at the Blackbird Public House and leaves behind an 9-year-old son.
Prosecutors say is while Marcias didn't pull the trigger, both he and Raheem Vaughn Benson set out to commit a crime.
In court Thursday, prosecutors said the teens bought masks that day and went on a crime spree. The pair saw Lewis walking home that evening, looking at his phone and that was enough to make him a target. They stole nothing from him but shot him three times for what prosecutors said was purely for the "exhilaration of committing a crime."
It was a shot to the chest that severed Lewis' aorta and killed him.
The two then allegedly shot the gun through a random home in Arapahoe county.
Marcias sat shackled in court next his parents while the family of Lewis read victim impact statements.
Lewis' youngest sister, Lillian Ann McGrath, 12, clutched an urn with his ashes.
"I want everyone to know that I'm a 12-year-old kid whose life has been torn apart," she cried. "They knew what they were doing. I want them in jail for the maximum sentence."
Lewis' mother, eldest sister and ex-wife also read statements.
"Nick's death means I lost the one person who loved him as fiercely as I do," His ex-wife said of their 8-year-old son. "He has lost his father and I have lost my co-parent."
"I wonder what kind of person does this to another human being? What kind of a soulless person doesn't care?" his mother cried.
Marcias took the remainder of the time to read an apology he had written to the family.
"I am really sorry that my actions caused the death of your son and so much pain."
He continued to say he would change everything if he could. He said he wanted to work on becoming a better person and hoped that one day the family could forgive him.
The judge said while not to diminish the seriousness of the crime, he has seen evidence to suggest that youth do not develop full decision-making abilities or cognitive function until as late as 25 years old. He didn't believe life without parole was appropriate for Marcias.
If Marcias does not successfully complete all seven years at the Youth Offender Services program, he will be transferred to the Department of Corrections for 21 years.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn't imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.
for more features.