The father of Lloyd Chavez IV stood at the lectern in court, a stuffed animal lying beside him. The stuffed animal, he said, was on his son’s bed when he went to clean out his room.
Chavez, fatally shot at age 18 during an attempted robbery of vaping products in May 2019, was “loving and caring and giving” — traits that showed in the way he treated family and strangers, his father said.
“He loved (the stuffed animal) as he loved everyone else in his life: He squeezed the stuffing out of him,” Lloyd Chavez III, the father, told the court.
He added: “This is all I have to remind me of my son.”
Chavez made his comments at Wednesday’s sentencing in Arapahoe County District Court of Demarea Deshawn Mitchell, one of the four teens who was convicted in the encounter in east Centennial that led to Chavez’s death.
“Unfortunately, Lloyd’s mother won’t be able to be here because she was a recovering alcoholic, and the death of her son pushed her over the edge and she drank herself to death (earlier) this year,” Chavez, the father, said.
He emphasized the chance Mitchell still has at experiencing some aspects of life, whereas Chavez’s loss is permanent.
“Prison is no kind of picnic, but it’s still life. He gets to see his family in whatever capacity,” Chavez said. But “I will never get to see or hold my grandkids” that Lloyd Chavez IV may have gone on to have, he said.
“That’s the life we lost,” Chavez added.
Lloyd Chavez IV was “an outstanding rugby player,” said the father, who wanted to play rugby with his father and his son — all three generations on one field.
“That will never happen,” Chavez said.
An Arapahoe County District Court jury found Mitchell, now 19, guilty of felony murder, attempted aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. The four-day trial concluded July 16. Chavez was a Cherokee Trail High School student.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Ben Leutwyler sentenced Mitchell to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. Mitchell was given 864 days of credit toward his sentence for time already served.