NewsLocal News

Actions

'Some people deserve to be in jail': Man convicted in Aurora 1998 killing rampage to be resentenced

A total of 5 people were shot and killed
Man convicted in Aurora 1998 killing rampage to be resentenced
Posted at 10:18 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-27 00:51:48-05

AURORA, Colo. — In less than a month, the man responsible for a shooting rampage in Aurora that left five people dead will be resentenced. The daughter of one of the victim's is sharing her pain in hopes that the court and others will listen.

"My life has never been the same," Kayla Reichert said, eyes wet with tears.

On Labor Day in 1998, Reichert witnessed the murder of her mother, Penny Bowman.

Penny Bowman with daughter, Kayla Reichert, and son, Greg Medla
Penny Bowman with daughter, Kayla Reichert, and son, Greg Medla

"I was upstairs, changing my clothes, heard the gunshots and came down to the landing where I saw my mom die right in front of me," she said.

Bowman was one of five people shot and killed in what was dubbed Aurora's "Labor Day Massacre."

Reichert's brother, Greg Medla, and his girlfriend, Marissa Avalos, were also killed moments before Penny Bowman.

Penny Bowman with son, Greg Medla
Penny Bowman with son, Greg Medla

"They came into our house through the basement, shot my brother while he was sleeping, his girlfriend after. They came upstairs, and that's where I had seen my mom get shot right in front of me and the killer leaving right behind me," Reichert said.

Marissa Avalos
Marissa Avalos was 16 at the time she was killed.

Zach Obert and Ed Morales Jr. were the victims killed inside another home in Aurora.

Zach Obert and Ed Morales Jr.
Photos of Ed Morales Jr. and Zach obert shared with Denver7 during 1998.

The shooter, 17-year-old Alexander Pogosyan, was also suspected of killing his accomplice, 18-year-old Michael Martinez. However, Pogosyan was never charged with Martinez's murder.

Pogosyan was tried and convicted of murdering the five other individuals. He was sentenced in 1999 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors said Pogosyan was angry with all of the victims and was seeking revenge.

"One person has completely destroyed so many lives and absolutely devastated mine," Bowman's daughter said.

"He'll never ever know liberty again, nor should he," someone involved with the case said to Denver7 at the time.

Reaction to sentencing in 1998 Aurora killing rampage

On Dec. 21, Pogosyan will be resentenced.

In 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2016, a new Colorado law mandated all juveniles sentenced to life without the possibility of parole be resentenced and made eligible for parole in as little as 30 years, which you can learn more about here.

Pogosyan has served 22 years in prison thus far.

"Somebody who shot and murdered five people execution style and murdered someone's mother in front of their eyes doesn't deserve to see the light of day," Reichert said. "For me, there will never be forgiveness. Forgiveness is warranted for people who show remorse, and that's not the case."

Reichert's mom would be 60 today and her brother would in his 40s.

"I could only imagine how my life would've been if I still had my mom and my brother," she said.

Now, Reichert has dedicated her life to advocating for those killed by Pogosyan.

"I'm here to carry on their memory, and I'm going to make sure that Alex knows that, too," she said. "Some people deserve to be in jail and stay there."

Reichert hopes to connect with the loved ones of other victims before the resentencing. She can be reached at kreichert18@gmail.com.