DENVER — A 29-year-old pleaded guilty to murder after he was accused of killing a man, cutting up his body and putting parts in two suitcases in Denver in December.
Prosecutors with the Denver District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that Benjamin Satterthwaite had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the killing of 33-year-old Joshua Lockard.
A judge will sentence Satterthwaite to 25 to 30 years in prison on Nov. 12.
The two suitcases were found along the 1700 block of S. Java Way, near the Sanderson Gulch Trail in the Mar Lee neighborhood, by city employees on Dec. 29, 2020.
The Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) confirmed the remains belonged to an adult white male and it appeared the man was “recently deceased."
In early January, Satterthwaite was arrested.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by Denver7, Satterthwaite was linked to the suitcases by baggage claim stickers. As investigators were processing the scene, police noticed a United Airlines baggage claim sticker on one of the purple suitcases with the name “Satterthwaite” and “Den.”
During the investigation, police responded to a possible overdose death at Satterthwaite’s apartment on New Year’s Day. When officers arrived, they discovered a deceased person who died from a possible overdose lying next to Satterthwaite, who was unconscious and possibly experiencing an overdose episode, according to the affidavit.
Satterthwaite was brought to Swedish Medical Center where police obtained fingerprints. Meanwhile, investigators obtained a search warrant, and inside the suspect’s home, collected evidence which included a suitcase that matched the one found at the scene, and — using luminol — an excessive amount of blood on a couch, in the bathroom and in the bathtub, court records state.
Police wrote in the affidavit that they also recovered a bloody saw blade from the apartment, which surveillance video allegedly showed Satterthwaite purchasing from a Walmart on Dec. 27.
Authorities said they believe the two men knew each other and Lockard had stayed at Satterthwaite’s South Federal apartment at some point.