Sole eyewitness in Aurora murder case shot and killed in Denver alley, police say

The sole eyewitness to a homicide in Aurora was shot and killed by the suspect in Denver, police say.

Aurora police were looking for the eyewitness, 32-year-old Charly Lewis, because they believed she could be in danger for witnessing a June 1 homicide they suspect was committed by Steven Young, 45. But by the time police arrested Young in connection to the case, Lewis had already been killed.

Prosecutors with the Denver District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday charged Young, 45, with first-degree murder in the death of Lewis, 32, and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Police found Lewis’ body in an alley on June 7 off the 1000 block of North Federal Boulevard after a man riding his bike through the alley reported it, according to Young’s arrest affidavit. Medical examiners found that Lewis had been shot in the back of the head and police identified her using a fingerprint reader.

A Denver police detective then ran Lewis’ name through law enforcement databases and found that Aurora police had entered an “attempt to locate” alert because they were looking for her.

An Aurora homicide detective told Denver police that Lewis was believed to be the only eyewitness to a June 1 Aurora homicide in which Young was a suspect. Aurora police had video evidence that showed Young and Lewis at the scene of that homicide. Police found Young and Lewis later on June 1 as they were riding in a car together and interviewed both of them. Aurora police issued the “attempt to locate” alert because they feared for Lewis’ safety.

Video surveillance footage from a restaurant showed Lewis walking through the alley off Federal Boulevard with a man who matched Young’s description just before the time of the shooting. The footage also shows Young leaving the alley alone just after the time of the shooting.

Police later identified the man as Young by comparing his tattoos and clothing as seen in the footage with photos Aurora police took in their investigation.

Aurora police on June 8 arrested Young in their case, in which he faces first-degree murder charges.

Young is scheduled to appear Friday in Denver District Court.

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