Authorities uncover new attack in fatal Colorado rock-throwing spree

Two of the three men accused of killing a woman while throwing rocks through random Colorado drivers’ windshields are now facing additional charges in connection with a newly discovered incident in which the head from a statue was thrown at a car.

Joseph Koenig, 19, Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik, 18, and Zachary Kwak, 18, already are facing murder charges in Jefferson County in connection with the April 19 death of 20-year-old Alexa Bartell, who was killed when police say the trio threw a rock into her windshield as their vehicle passed hers on Indiana Street near the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

The three teens also were charged with carrying out a spree of at least six other rock-throwing incidents that night across west metro Denver.

But now, Koenig and Karol-Chik are each facing two new counts of attempted first-degree murder and attempted assault in connection with a much earlier attack, on April 1 in Arvada.

Cellphone location data placed the two men near 82nd Avenue and Alkire Street on that day around the time a statue head was thrown into an occupied and moving vehicle, according to court records and Brionna Boatright, a spokeswoman for First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King.

Available court records did not say what the statue’s head was made of or otherwise describe it, other than characterizing it as a “deadly weapon.” The statue was described as being a “Greek statue,” Boatright said, adding she did not know what it was made of.

It does not appear the man named as a victim in the attack was injured; additional details about the incident were not immediately available. A defense attorney for Koenig, Martin Stuart, wrote in court filings that the man’s vehicle “was hit by an object.”

Investigators do not believe Kwak was involved in the April 1 attack and he has not been charged in connection with it. First Judicial District Court Judge Christopher Zenisek agreed to add the new counts to the other two teenagers’ cases on Tuesday, court records show.

Attorneys for Koenig and Karol-Chik did not immediately return requests for comment Wednesday.

All three men are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Friday, though Koenig’s defense team has asked the judge to delay the hearing in order to allow defense attorneys to examine the cellphone location data related to the new allegations, court records show.

“While the defense understands and emphasizes (sic) with the alleged victims and their families’ impatience with the legal process, Mr. Koenig’s right to due process and a fair trial is paramount at every critical stage of the proceedings,” Stuart wrote in a motion seeking to delay the hearing.

The three men are being held in jail on $2 million cash-only bonds. Each is charged with murder in Bartell’s death, although investigators believe only one of the men threw the rock into her windshield. The three men initially gave conflicting accounts to police about who threw the rock. Karol-Chik said Kwak threw the fatal rock; Kwak said it was thrown by Koenig. Koenig declined to speak with police.

After their arrests in April, one of the teenagers admitted to police that the friends had thrown rocks at vehicles on at least 10 separate days since February. Kwak told investigators the trio treated the attacks as a game, and said that the group turned around after throwing the rock at Bartell’s car in order to take a photo of the wreckage as a memento.

A witness also told police that he saw the men loading up landscaping rocks taken from the edge of a Walmart parking lot in the hours before the April 19 spree.

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