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Former officer sentenced in Aurora teen’s 2021 fatal shooting


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Peyton Blitstein, 17, was fatally shot in November 2021. Former officer Adam Holen was convicted in his death earlier this year.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo — A former Greenwood Village Police officer will be sentenced Thursday after an Arapahoe County jury convicted him of manslaughter for his role in the 2021 fatal shooting of a teenager.

In February, the jury found Adam Holen guilty of manslaughter, rather than the more serious charge of second-degree murder. He was found not guilty of felony menacing.

“The judge can impose probation. The judge can impose probation with a requirement of serving time in the county jail as a condition of probation, or the judge can send Adam Holen to prison for up to six years on a Class 4 felony,” said 9NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson.

He had been charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Peyton Blitstein who was shot and killed on Nov. 24, 2021. The incident was captured by a neighbor’s Ring camera.

Police said Holen fatally shot the teen after an argument over careless driving in a neighborhood in Aurora. The jury had to decide whether Holen shot the teen in self-defense or whether he was the aggressor.

Prosecutors said Holen pulled out his gun before getting out of his truck and pointed it at one of Peyton’s friends. The prosecution said that a friend told this to Peyton before the shooting and then to detectives in an interview after Holen shot Peyton.

The prosecution argued Holen was the initial aggressor because he initiated physical contact.

RELATED: Father of Aurora teen killed in shooting remembers son’s love of military, social justice

Holen’s defense said a Ring doorbell camera contradicts the prosecution’s argument that Holen had a gun when he rounded the truck. The defense said he only pulled out a gun outside the truck when he saw Peyton Blitstein had a gun — and that he fired in self defense.

“The importance of video is why I think that the ring video from across the street played an enormous role in the conviction in question,” said Robinson.

“Certainly, Holen’s intoxication and the fact that it was a ghost gun on the other side, those may have been factors too. But nothing outweighs the value of a video of a crime in a criminal trial.

RELATED: Lawsuit filed against former Greenwood Village Police officer in death of teen

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Former officer sentenced in Aurora teen’s 2021 fatal shooting

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