Teen Admits Throwing Large Rock onto Highway, Killing 20-Year-Old Driver

Alexa Bartell was killed when a rock was thrown through her window as she drove

Jeffco Sheriff/Twitter Alexa Bartell
Jeffco Sheriff/Twitter Alexa Bartell

One of three Colorado teens charged in connection to a series of rock attacks, one of which killed a 20-year-old woman last year, has pleaded guilty to assault.

Alexa Bartell died on April 19, 2023, when a large rock was thrown through her windshield as she drove on a highway in Jefferson County, Colo., authorities said at the time. That night, multiple other cars were also struck by rocks in a series of attacks.

Joseph Koenig, Nicholas "Mitch" Karol-Chik, and Zachary Kwak, who were all 18 at the time, were arrested in connection with the attacks, and were initially charged with murder, PEOPLE reported at the time.

CBS News, The Denver Gazette and The Denver Post all reported that on May 3, Kwak, now 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, second-degree assault and criminal attempt to commit assault as part of a plea agreement that saw his original charges, including murder, dropped.

Related: Colo. Driver, 20, Killed on Road When Someone Threw Rock at Her Car in Spate of Attacks

According to the outlets, prosecutors and the defense agreed to a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of 32 years. Kwak will be sentenced following the conclusion of the cases against the other two defendants, CBS reported.

<p>JEFFERSON COUNTY</p> Zachary Kwak


Zachary Kwak

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CBS also reported that prosecutors said Bartell's parents agreed to the plea deal, and plan to speak at the sentencing hearing.

Online court dockets show that Karol-Chik is scheduled to go on trial in June, while Koenig’s trial is currently slated for July.

NBC reported last year, citing court documents, that after the rock attacks, the three teens allegedly returned to the crime scene to take a picture as a “memento."

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