Man Receives Second Life Sentence for Murder of Sole Witness to Previous Crime

Steven Daniel Young, a 48-year-old Colorado man already serving a life sentence for murder, received an additional life term this week. The new sentence is for the murder of Charly Lewis, 32, the only witness to his previous crime. Lewis’ body was discovered in an alley by a passing bicyclist who alerted the authorities. Young was convicted of first-degree murder in September for Lewis’ death, which occurred in 2020.

Young’s initial conviction was for the murder of John Cyprian, which took place six days prior to Lewis’ death in Aurora. Lewis had witnessed the crime, leading Young to target her. Young was convicted for Cyprian’s murder in April 2021.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office released an affidavit detailing the case. According to the document, a 911 call was received at 5:07 a.m. about a body found in an alley behind 1065 N. Federal Blvd. The caller, a bicyclist, had spotted the body lying face down next to a fence and blood. He alerted a restaurant employee before calling 911 and waiting for the police to arrive.

Upon arrival, the police found Lewis lying on her back against the fence, her hooded sweatshirt pulled up tight to her chin and around her head. Blood was visible from under her head and neck area. A spent .40 caliber shell casing was found next to her left foot, and an intact bullet was discovered under her head.

Video surveillance from the area and a gunshot detection report helped the police piece together the events. The report indicated a single gunshot had been heard at the location at 4:23 a.m., 44 minutes before the 911 call. The police also learned that Lewis had been a witness to a murder and that Young had an outstanding first-degree murder warrant from Adams County, issued on June 4, 2020.

Aurora police had previously issued an alert to locate Lewis due to concerns for her safety. Surveillance footage from a restaurant showed Lewis walking with a man matching Young’s description into the alley at 2:30 a.m. The man was later seen exiting the alley alone at 4:25 a.m., approximately two minutes after Lewis was shot.

Young’s initial crime involved the murder of Cyprian, 41, whom he had seen walking with Lewis in Aurora. Young approached Cyprian in a large gray SUV, shot him with a 45-caliber handgun, and left him to die in a nearby field. Young was arrested for Cyprian’s murder on June 8, 2020, and was convicted of first-degree murder on April 2, 2021.