Teen accused of murdering Englewood chef pleads guilty; alleged accomplice to be prosecuted as adult

Posted at 4:04 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 18:04:47-04

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – One of the teens accused of murdering the well-known chef of the Blackbird Public House pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges, while the other found out his case would remain in adult court and that he wouldn’t be prosecuted as a juvenile.

Louis Lara-Macias, 16, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder charge in court on Wednesday. His plea came in the middle of a hearing regarding a possible transfer of his case to juvenile court, and thus, the case will remain in adult court, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Lara-Macias faces between eight and 24 years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines in Colorado for class 2 felonies. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7.

The other teenager arrested in the case, 16-year-old Raheem Vaughn Benson, had a motion to have his case moved to juvenile court denied on Wednesday. He previously pleaded not guilty to the crime. His next court date has not been set.

The two are accused of killing Nick Lewis, who was the executive chef at Blackbird Public House in Denver, last Oct. 1. Few details about his death have been released, as affidavits for both teens remain suppressed.

"Those that knew Nick are having a hard time understanding how such a kind and gentle person could be taken from us in such a violent manner,” the owner of the restaurant wrote on Facebook at the time.

The two teens were arrested later that month. Both originally faced first-degree murder charges in the case when they were arrested.