Shooting suspect pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Nicholas Locascio, 30, was suspected of killing worker at business

Posted 10/11/18

Accused of fatally shooting an employee at a wholesale electrical supply business in Centennial in 2017, Nicholas Locascio pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, according to the 18th Judicial …

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Shooting suspect pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Nicholas Locascio, 30, was suspected of killing worker at business

Posted

Accused of fatally shooting an employee at a wholesale electrical supply business in Centennial in 2017, Nicholas Locascio pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Locascio, 30, had faced charges of first-degree murder and possession of a controlled substance. His plea was entered Oct. 5, and he's set to be sentenced Feb. 15, with a likely sentence between 16 and 42 years, according to the DA's office.

At a Sept. 7, 2017, preliminary hearing in Arapahoe County District Court for the man accused of killing employee Justin Doe at Quality Electrical Distribution, prosecutors laid out evidence pointing to Locascio — possibly high on methamphetamine and later caught at a 24 Hour Fitness.

According to that hearing:

Security camera footage shows Locascio in the parking lot at QED at 7000 S. Jordan Road at the time of the March 22, 2017 shooting and fleeing on foot after it, according to an investigator's testimony. Locascio's DNA was identified on a cigarette butt found underneath the body of 32-year-old Doe, which lay in that parking lot next to a splattering of blood on a brick wall. He was shot once in the head.

Doe's manager at QED, Nathan VanDusseldorp, didn't hear what happened outside between Locascio and Doe that morning, but when he heard a gunshot, he came out the back door and saw Doe lying on the ground, he told the court.

VanDusseldorp said no one could hear what may have transpired between Locascio and Doe because the building walls are brick.

Surveillance video from StorQuest Self Storage, one parking lot over from QED, caught a man authorities said is Locascio on camera standing between cars and the building wall in the QED lot. He reached into the bed of a truck near Doe's car and then walked behind Doe's car, out of view of the camera, before Doe appeared to reach into it. Doe's blood trails down the pavement in the video, and Locascio is seen fleeing on foot, said Kristin McCauley, investigator with the sheriff's office.

After the shooting, Aurora police arrested Locascio about 1 p.m. at the 24 Hour Fitness at 15900 E. Briarwood Circle, about a mile from QED, after employees at that business called police about a man acting suspicious during a gym tour.

Locascio was carrying a black pouch with methamphetamine, a scale, a glass pipe with white residue, cigarettes and nine syringes, Deputy Brian Robinson with the sheriff's office said.

Locascio's defense counsel implied that his alleged shooting of Doe was most likely due to a random act influenced by drug use.

Aurora police and McCauley described Locascio as hot, sweating profusely and more anxious than a person detained by police usually would be. McCauley said Locascio had trouble keeping his eyes open, asked for water, didn't know what day it was and kept saying he wasn't on drugs.

Police had not found the weapon used to shoot Doe, even after a search of open space and businesses in the area where Locascio went.

But in addition to Locascio's DNA being located on a cigarette butt found underneath Doe's body, a bloodhound used by investigators tracked Locascio's scent at QED, at 24 Hour Fitness and a winding trail of places in between.

A jail inmate spoke of a “meth-induced insanity” Locascio was under and said he believed the shooting was random and that he didn't think Locascio knew he was doing it because he was so high, the defense said.

Phone records showed no correspondence between Doe and Locascio. Police had not “determined any association” between them, McCauley said.

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