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Driver murdered woman who threw rocks at his rig, jury decides

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Truck driver murdered woman who threw rocks at his semi truck while he was parked, a jury has decided. 

44-year-old John David Thoren III was convicted of second-degree murder on Friday, April 12th for an incident on October 28th, 2022. 

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Thoren was asleep in his cab outside of a Boot Barn on S. Parker Road at around 2:30 a.m. in Arapahoe County, Colorado when he was woken up by a woman he did not know throwing rocks at the side of his tractor trailer. 

Thoren says he told the woman to stop throwing rocks and showed her that he had a gun. He then cracked the cab door and warned her that, if she did not stop, she would be shot. The woman, 46-year-old Rachel Holmes, did not stop throwing rocks, so Thoren shot her with a 9mm. Holmes was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Thoren did call 911 after the incident, but did not attempt to help Holmes. Thoren did admit to shooting Holmes, and told investigators that he had been scared for his safety. Investigators found minimal damage to his semi truck. 

“Instead of driving to a safe location or calling 9-1-1 to report someone throwing rocks at his truck, the defendant decided to take matters into his own hands by confronting the woman with a gun and pulling the trigger,” Senior Deputy DA Michael Mauro said. “Based on the facts of this case, deadly use of force was not justified.”

After a jury trial that lasted four days, Thoren was convicted of Second Degree Murder and Violent Crime/Use of a Weapon. Thoren will be sentenced on July 22nd. 

“While citizens have the right to bear arms and protect themselves from imminent danger, the evidence doesn’t support this defendant’s claims that his life was in danger,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “Jurors recognized this was not a case of self-defense.”

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