Two teenagers charged with homicide in the shooting death of Nicholas Lewis, Blackbird Public House chef

Two 16-year-olds, Raheem Vaughn Benson of Littleton and Louis Fernando Lara-Macias Englewood have been charged

Two 16-year-olds, Raheem Vaughn Benson of Littleton and Louis Fernando Lara-Macias Englewood have been charged in the murder of Blackbird Public House chef Nicholas Lewis.

The pair face counts of first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree felony murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery, according to a release from the 18th Judicial District’s Office of the D.A.

If a juvenile is convicted of first-degree felony murder as an adult, the minimum sentence is 30 to 50 years, and in some rare circumstances, it’s 40 years to life.

If Benson and Lara-Macias are convicted, recently adopted state laws that govern sentencing for juveniles convicted of murder in adult court apply.

Under the new laws, a person younger than 18 who is convicted for first-degree murder after deliberation still gets 40 years to life, but can accrue earned time by participating in Department of Corrections programs. The person would get 10 days off a sentence for each month of participation, leading to parole eligibility after about 30½ years.

Sentenced to 30 years, parole opportunities would come up after about 22¾ years with earned time.

The new laws also created a program that, after 25 years in prison, allows someone younger than 18 who is convicted of murder in adult court — even without earned time — to participate and become eligible for parole granted by the governor after 28 years.

They could even petition for a special program after 20 years, putting them out on parole in about 23 years.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.