Contact Jordan Law
If you've been injured in an accident, fill out the form below for a free consultation.
Back to News List

Three Men Face Trial for Tragic Rock-Throwing Incident that Took Alexa Bartell’s Life

October 19, 2023

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The deaths and damages caused by rock-throwing incidents in April have shaken the local community. Three high school seniors – Joseph Koenig, Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik, and Zachary Kwak – are facing trial following the tragic death of 20-year-old Alexa Bartell, who was killed when a landscaping rock pierced through her windshield as she was driving on Indiana Street, near the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

At a preliminary hearing held on Wednesday, evidence revealed that Bartell was in conversation with her girlfriend, Jenna Griggs, during the incident. Jenna, upon realizing something had gone terribly wrong, managed to locate Bartell through her phone’s GPS, only to discover the horrifying scene of Bartell’s death in her car.

Furthermore, this wasn’t an isolated incident. That very night, seven rock-throwing occurrences were reported to law enforcement, with Bartell being the last driver targeted. The painstaking investigations led by Deputy Daniel Manka from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office used cellphone data to trace one of the suspects. Joseph Koenig’s phone was detected at four of the rock-throwing locations. The data also suggested that the suspects revisited the scene of Bartell’s accident, with Kwak reportedly stating the return was to capture a photo “for memory’s sake.”

In startling confessions, Karol-Chik informed detectives that he and Koenig had previously thrown objects at cars multiple times since February. He further shared the group’s morbid thrill, cheering every time they managed to hit a vehicle. This culminated in Koenig declaring them as “blood brothers.”

However, there are disputes regarding the identity of the individual who threw the fatal rock that killed Bartell. While Kwak places the blame on Koenig, Karol-Chik suggests Kwak was responsible. Regardless, their reckless actions led to tragic consequences, not only for Bartell but also for two others who sustained injuries in related attacks that night. In total, seven vehicles were struck by the large landscaping rocks, believed to be thrown from a moving vehicle.

The three men face multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and varying counts of assault and attempted assault. Additionally, Koenig and Karol-Chik have been implicated in a separate incident in early April, involving the throwing of a statue head from a car.

Their defense has called into question the absence of DNA evidence on the rocks and clarity on the exact roles each suspect played. Nonetheless, the First Judicial District Judge, Christopher Zenisek, ruled that there was sufficient evidence for the trial to proceed on all counts.

The incident serves as a grim reminder of the unforeseen dangers one may encounter on the road. Alexa Bartell‘s demise has left a lasting mark on the community, symbolized by a heartfelt memorial comprising flowers and pinwheels on Indiana Street.

For those affected by such tragic incidents, seeking justice and understanding your rights is paramount. Victims and their families are encouraged to reach out to Jordan Law for expert legal guidance and support in navigating these challenging times.

Related Blog Stories