Thornton Walmart killer Scott Ostrem pleads guilty to murder, avoids death penalty

BRIGHTON, Colo. — A man charged with killing three people at a crowded Thornton Walmart last fall pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder under a plea deal that took the death penalty off the table.

Scott Ostrem entered his plea in an Adams County courtroom Wednesday afternoon. He also pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder.

Ostrem was charged in the Nov. 1, 2017, shooting with killing Pamela Marques, 52, and Victor Vasquez, 26, both from Denver, and Carlos Moreno, 66, of Thornton.

A judge ruled that Ostrem was competent to stand trial after a psychological evaluation earlier this year. He originally faced six counts of first-degree murder – two for each of his victims – and 30 counts of attempted first-degree murder because of the other people who were in the Walmart store last November when Ostrem walked in and allegedly started shooting.

He will be sentenced on Oct. 19. He is expected to get life in prison without parole under the plea deal.

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