- Associated Press - Thursday, January 22, 2015

DENVER (AP) - A Colorado death row inmate convicted in the killing of a witness to a shooting has lost his appeal in a related case, both stemming from a post-concert fracas that led to three deaths.

The state appeals court said Thursday it had rejected Robert Ray’s contention that errors in his initial prosecution be given extra weight because that conviction became an aggravating factor in his subsequent capital trial.

The court also found no merit in Ray’s argument that errors were made in the initial trial. Among them, he said, the judge should not have allowed jurors to view a videotape of a police interview with a witness. Heightened courtroom security could have influenced jurors against him, he said.

Prosecutors say Ray and his friend Sir Mario Owens, who also is on death row, started shooting during a scuffle after the 2004 concert in an Aurora park. Owens was convicted of murder in the death of Gregory Vann, one of the concert’s organizers, and Ray of attempted murder.

Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee, Vivan Wolfe, were killed as Marshall-Fields was preparing to testify against Ray and Owens in 2005. Those killings led police to post extra security in the courtroom and on the roof of the courthouse, which the appeals court said Thursday was warranted and unlikely to have affected jurors’ decision-making.

Ray was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to death in the slayings of Marshall-Fields and Wolfe. Owens also was convicted and sentenced to die in the killings.

Ray, Owens and Nathan Dunlap, who was convicted of killing four people at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in 1993, are the only men on Colorado’s death row.

The last prisoner executed in Colorado was Gary Davis, who was convicted of murder in 1986 and put to death in 1997.

Rhonda Fields, the mother of Marshall-Fields, became a prominent advocate for victims’ rights and a member of the Colorado state legislature, where she has lobbied for stricter gun control.

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