Two men convicted by Adams County juries in separate murder cases

Two defendants in Adams County have been convicted by juries in separate murder cases this month, marking the first two convictions since jury trials resumed after a stoppage of several months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mauricio Eduardo Anchondo-Olivas, 29, was convicted on Friday, April 9, of first-degree murder and aggravated motor vehicle, according to a Thursday news release from the district attorney’s office. He was sentenced to life without parole.

On April 12, 43-year-old Javier Zamudio-Anaya attended a gathering at a home in Federal Heights with a group of people, including Anchondo-Olivas. The men, who had previously been housemates, left the gathering together in a truck driven by Anchondo-Olivas. The truck had been stolen, the release said. Anchondo-Olivas shot Zamudio-Anaya twice and then slit his throat.

The truck, with Zamudio-Anaya’s body inside, was abandoned near West 120th Avenue and Tejon Street in Westminster. Surveillance cameras showed Anchondo-Olivas leaving the scene of the abandoned truck, the prosecutors said.

On April 2, Steven Young was convicted of first-degree murder for the June 1 shooting death of 41-year-old John Cyprian, the news release said.

Cyprian was walking along East 16th Avenue and Akron Street, with a 33-year-old woman, Charley Lewis, when a large gray SUV, driven by Young, pulled up. Young got out of the SUV and shot Cyprian, who crawled to a nearby field and died, the release said. Young returned to SUV and fled with Lewis.

On June 7,  a bicyclist found Lewis dead, shot in the back of the head, in an alley behind a Denver restaurant. Young is scheduled to be tried for murder in Denver for Lewis’ death later this year.

Young will be sentenced on Friday in Adams County for Cyprian’s death.

District attorney Brian Mason, in the release, thank the jurors for their duty.

“These were senseless, gruesome crimes, and I am pleased that justice was served,” Mason said. “I’m grateful for the jurors who, despite the pandemic, still came in to hear these important cases and render just verdicts.”

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