Lemarinel found guilty of second-degree murder, other charges

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By Deborah Swearingen

Jordan Lemarinel, one of two men arrested in connection with the May 1, 2017, death of 26-year-old Samuel Addison Stewart, was found guilty of second-degree murder on Friday.

The 12-member jury, after more than a day of deliberation, also found Lemarinel, 27, guilty of felony murder, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery with the intent to kill, maim or wound, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and more. He was arrested May 5, 2017.

The jury returned a not guilty verdict on a conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charge, according to Jeffco District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Pam Russell. The jury also lessened the initial first-degree murder charge to second-degree murder, which is an intentional killing that isn’t premeditated or planned. The felony murder conviction refers to murder during the commission of another crime, Russell said.

The prosecution is not seeking the death penalty in this case. Judge Todd Vriesman will sentence Lemarinel during an April 26 hearing.

“We haven’t had a death penalty case in many, many years,” Russell noted. “It may be life plus. … It’s always an issue to determine which counts may or must or cannot be concurrent or consecutive.”

Kenneth Crise, 56, the second suspect in this case, is expected to be tried in Jeffco starting Wednesday.

Throughout the eight-day trial, jurors heard from dozens of witnesses, including family and friends of Stewart and Lemarinel, homicide investigators with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, crime scene analysts, a forensic pathologist and more.

According to courtroom testimony, on the morning of May 1, 2017, Stewart drove his white Ford Explorer to the home of Crise on South Owens Court in South Jeffco. Surveillance video from across the street, which was presented in court, showed Stewart pull up to the house, joining Crise and Lemarinel in the garage.

Stewart reportedly visited Crise’s home for a pre-arranged drug deal. Although Lemarinel was the one selling the drugs, he didn’t know Stewart. The meetup was arranged by Crise. Lemarinel claims he shot Stewart twice in self-defense after being stabbed several times by the victim.

According to the video, within minutes of entering the garage and the door subsequently shutting, Lemarinel is seen dragging Stewart’s body into the driveway. After struggling to maneuver Stewart into the Explorer, Crise came out to help. Lemarinel drove away and returned on foot approximately 10 minutes later as the video shows Crise washing off his driveway.

Hours later, neighbors became suspicious when an unfamiliar vehicle parked in the 11300 block of West Maplewood Drive, less than a mile from Crise’s home, didn’t move for several hours. A neighbor, who last week testified in court, called the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office after noticing an apparently unresponsive person inside the vehicle.

Deputies arrived on scene, confirmed the person was dead and later identified him as Stewart, a Dakota Ridge High School graduate known by “Addy” or “Addison” to close friends and family.

Days later, Lemarinel was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with Stewart’s death. He had previously been arrested on unrelated drug and illegal weapons possessions charges, and remained in police custody until being arrested on the first-degree murder charge. Investigator Dave See and others were able to connect him with the death through phone records and video surveillance.

At the time of Lemarinel’s arrest, another arrest warrant was issued for Crise. He was apprehended nearly two weeks later by the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force.