Category: Denver

Dad charged in death of 7-year-old boy found encased in cement in Denver storage unit

DENVER — Charges have been filed against the father of 7-year-old Caden McWilliams, the boy who was found dead in a southeast Denver storage unit in December.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that Leland Pankey, 39, faces three counts: first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and tempering with a deceased human.

A hearing is scheduled for June 27.

McWilliams’ mother, Elisha Pankey, was already charged in the death in January. She was charged with child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse

The boy’s body was found encased in cement in a dog carrier inside a storage unit in the 5000 block of East Evans Avenue on Dec. 23, 2018.

“What began as a domestic violence call to the Aurora Police Department rapidly evolved into a homicide investigation because responding officers cared enough to ensure the involved children were safe,” said District Attorney Beth McCann in a statement. “We have now implicated both parents in this truly horrific crime.”

McCann added that McWilliams’ younger sister is “safe and adjusting well.”

‘Magic mushrooms’ in Denver: Measure to decriminalize passes in final tally

DENVER – A measure to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in the city of Denver passed by a thin margin, election officials confirmed Wednesday.

Initiative 301 will decriminalize the possession or use of the mushrooms by locals who are at least 21 years old.

Early projections had the measure failing, but the final tally found the measure passed by 1,979 votes. The votes will be officially certified on May 16.

The language of Initiative 301 prohibits “the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties” for personal use, possession and growth of mushrooms.

“No one deserves to go to jail and lose their family, their livelihood, their jobs for something that has a therapeutic benefit,” said Decriminalize Denver campaign manager Kevin Matthews ahead of the vote.

The initiative will establish the “psilocybin mushroom policy review panel to assess and report on the effects of the ordinance,” much like the panel in place for marijuana.

Psilocybin mushrooms are classified as an illegal drug by the federal government.

Marijuana is also classified federally as illegal, but that didn’t stop Colorado from approving recreational marijuana use in 2012.

Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana in January 2014.

YouTuber captures semitrailer speeding by cars before deadly crash, fire in Colorado

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Video appears to show a semitrailer speeding down the shoulder of eastbound Interstate 70 in Colorado before a massive crash and fire Thursday afternoon.

The crash occurred near the Denver West exit in Lakewood. At least one person was killed. Several were injured.

The Lakewood Police Department said the crash began when a semitrailer traveling at a high rate of speed on the eastbound side of the highway collided with other vehicles, starting a chain reaction and fire.

An estimated 12 passenger vehicles and three semitrailers were involved in the crash.

The video, from Burger Planet on YouTube, appears to show the speeding semi passing stopped vehicles. The camera is then turned to show a large smoke plume rising from where I-70 goes under Denver West Colorado Mills Parkway.

The accident was still under investigation Thursday evening.

This is a developing story.