UNITED STATES NEWS

Teens accused in rock-throwing death took ‘memento’ photo

Apr 27, 2023, 12:13 PM

DENVER (AP) — Three teens accused of driving around and throwing large rocks at passing cars, one of which investigators say killed a 20-year-old woman, circled back to take a photo of her crashed car as a “memento,” according to court documents released Thursday.

Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik told investigators that Joseph Koenig slowed down so Zachary Kwak could get a photo of the car where authorities say Alexa Bartell died after being hit in the head with a rock on April 19, according to arrest affidavits for the 18-year-olds. In a hint at a possible motive, Karol-Chik said all three got excited every time they hit a car with a rock that night but acknowledged he felt “a hint of guilt” passing by Bartell’s car, according to the documents.

Kwak said he took the photo because he thought that Karol-Chik or Koenig would want to have a “memento” of what had happened, according to the affidavits. Koenig did not speak to investigators after he was arrested, they said.

All three teens appeared briefly in court for the first time on Thursday but only spoke to answer short questions from the judge about whether they could hear and understood what was happening. A telephone message left for Kwak’s lawyer was not immediately returned. A person at the law firm appointed by the court to represent Karol-Chik declined to comment. Koenig is represented by a lawyer from the public defender’s office, which does not comment on cases to the media.

The three teens were arrested at their homes in the Denver suburb of Arvada this week after being identified as suspects with the help of cellphone tower data and another friend who had been hanging out with them earlier on April 19. Joseph Bopp also offered a possible explanation for the alleged rock-throwing, telling investigators that Koenig often participates in “destructive behavior” because “he likes causing ‘chaos,’” the documents said. Bopp told sheriff’s investigators he asked to be taken home after he saw the three others taking landscaping rocks from a Walmart parking lot and loading them into Karol-Chik’s pickup truck, because he said he knew something bad was going to happen, according to the documents.

Karol-Chik told investigators with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office that he and Koenig had thrown rocks and even a statue at passing cars on at least 10 other days before Bartell was killed. Kwak heard about what they were doing and asked to join them on April 19, according to Karol-Chick, the documents said.

Investigators believe the teens were involved in several other similar incidents in which rocks between 4 and 6 inches (10 and 15 centimeters) in diameter and weighing 3 to 5 pounds (1.4 to 2.7 kilograms) were thrown at cars in the area the night of Bartell’s death. Two other drivers suffered minor injuries.

According to the sheriff’s office, Bartell was talking on the phone with a friend when she was hit by the rock. After the call went silent, the friend tracked Bartell’s location with a phone app and found the woman dead in her car, which had crashed into a field.

United States News

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June. Officials for the com...

Associated Press

Boeing’s 1st astronaut flight now set for June after a review of small leak on new capsule

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch in early June, after spending weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule.

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit filed in the death of dancer with a peanut allergy who died after eating mislabeled cookie

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The estate of a young dancer who died after eating a mislabeled cookie containing peanuts has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the failure to properly label the package was grossly negligent. Órla Ruth Baxendale, 25, died Jan. 11 after eating a Florentine cookie sold by grocery retailer Stew Leonard’s and […]

13 hours ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Lara Trump touts RNC changes and a 2024 presidential victory for Trump in North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — To a room full of Republicans from across North Carolina on Friday, former President Donald Trump railed against the Biden administration and vowed to win in the state for a third time — all over a speaker phone call after his son Eric Trump dialed him on stage. “I just want […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Nevada voter ID initiative can appear on 2024 ballot with enough signatures, state high court says

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — An initiative that would amend the Nevada Constitution to require that voters show photo identification at the polls can appear on the 2024 ballot as long as organizers collect enough signatures, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday. Organizers must gather just over 100,000 valid signatures by June 26 for it to […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Florida priest accused of biting woman who grabbed Holy Communion wafers during Mass

ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) — The Diocese of Orlando is defending a Catholic priest accused of biting a woman who tried to grab Holy Communion wafers during Mass at a central Florida church. The confrontation occurred Sunday afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Police have forwarded a report to prosecutors accusing […]

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Teens accused in rock-throwing death took ‘memento’ photo