An El Paso County jury on Monday convicted a man of abducting a teenage girl at gunpoint but couldn't reach a decision on whether he also raped her.
Among the guilty verdicts handed up against Keenan Miller after the two-week trial was first-degree kidnapping, one of the few offenses on Colorado's books that result in an automatic life sentence in prison, without the chance for parole.
The penalty is scheduled to be imposed Oct. 15 by 4th Judicial District Judge Larry E. Schwartz.
Miller, 22, was one of two men charged in the Feb. 7, 2012 episode, in which a then-15-year-old girl said she was repeatedly raped while held captive, beaten and threatened with death. She said Miller, an acquaintance, held a shotgun to her head during the ordeal and fired several rounds into the air to frighten her.
After leaving all sex counts unresolved, the seven-man, five-woman jury also convicted Miller of menacing and third-degree assault.
Prosecutors didn't say if they intend to re-try Miller in the girl's rape. Miller's public defenders say an appeal is forthcoming.
Two jurors declined to comment on their way out of the courthouse, and others couldn't be reached to discuss their conclusions.
The other man charged in the case, Mario Raxon, is due for an October trial on similar charges.
Monday's partial verdict came after just more than two days of deliberations. A juror on Friday asked to be released from the panel because of a belief that some members had made up their minds before all the evidence was in. Judge Schwartz denied a motion for a mistrial and ordered deliberations to resume.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Jennifer Darby said the teenager knew the men and willingly accompanied them to Raxon's apartment for drinks.
After the trio drank from a bottle of 99 Bananas liqueur, the girl said the men removed her cell phone battery and raped her in a bedroom.
Darby alleged the men then drove the girl to Rampart Range, assaulted her a second time, and threatened to bury her "nine feet deep in Cripple Creek" if she told anyone - with Miller punctuating the claim by firing several rounds outside the vehicle.
In painting their client as the victim of false allegations, public defenders Chad Miller and Shawn Witkus said the girl lied to cover up details of a consensual sexual encounter and asked why Colorado Springs police were unable to find shotgun shells on Rampart Range Road.
"They didn't fire anything at Rampart Range Road, because like the rest of her story, it's not true," Miller told the jury during closing arguments.
Miller also focused on evidence that the girl sent a text message to a friend, suggesting she was lying about being held against her will.
Miller and Raxon ended up getting arrested that night, but not on suspicion of rape or kidnapping.
Instead, they were arrested shortly after a dispute inside Belle's Lounge led to gunfire in the parking lot. Testifying in his defense at trial, Miller admitted that he was responsible for firing off a sawed-off shotgun at the bar but said he didn't rape the girl.