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Three charged with murder in Colorado rock-throwing death

The three suspects have been charged with murder in Alexa Bartell's death and 12 additional counts each in the alleged rock-throwing spree. Three other people were hurt.

Three Colorado high school students have been charged with first-degree murder in a case in which a woman died after a large rock was thrown through her windshield, the district attorney said Wednesday.

Alexa Bartell, 20, died after the landscaping rock struck her vehicle as she was driving down a street in Westminster, a city in the Denver area, about 10:45 p.m. on April 19.

Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik, Joseph Koenig and Zachary Kwak, all 18, had previously been arrested.

Alexa Bartell.
Alexa Bartell.Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

They have each been charged with first-degree murder involving extreme indifference and 12 other counts, First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King said in a statement Wednesday.

The trio are alleged to have thrown rocks at other vehicles that night.

Three other people were injured after rocks were thrown at vehicles within a 45-minute span, the district attorney’s office said. Seven vehicles in all were struck, the statement said.

Bartell's vehicle was the last to be hit that night, authorities have said.

The three people now charged are 12th graders in Jefferson County Public Schools, a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said when they were arrested last week.

The three are alleged to have been in another vehicle driving when the rocks were thrown at other vehicles, the sheriff's office said.

In addition to the murder charge, each is charged with seven counts of attempted murder, three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of second-degree attempted assault, according to the district attorney's office.

One of the people whose vehicle was hit by a rock has described seeing another car's headlights in the dark and then hearing "what sounded like a shotgun blast" as his window was shattered.

It was not clear from court information available online Wednesday night whether the three had attorneys who could speak on their behalf. Detailed case records do not appear to be available remotely in Colorado.