‘Please Don’t Shoot’: More Witnesses Describe Downtown Boulder Shooting in Trial

February 15, 2019 GMT

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More witnesses to a deadly 2017 shooting in downtown Boulder took the stand at a trial Friday to talk about the escalating arguments between the two men involved and the shooting itself.

Louis Sebastian, 33, is being tried in Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman’s court on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Christopher King, 49. Sebastian also is facing one count of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Sebastian has claimed self-defense.

In the fourth day of testimony in Sebastian’s trial, prosecutors called on Lindsay Oberst, who was at the Boulder croquet party where Sebastian and King met prior to the shooting.

Oberst’s boyfriend and a woman named Leah Akin were the cohosts, with Oberst’s boyfriend inviting Sebastian and Akin inviting King.

Oberst said she saw Sebastian and Akin making out and flirting at the party during the day. When some of the partygoers — including Sebastian, King and Akin — later that night decided to go to the Bramble & Hare to eat, Oberst said the group was seated in a booth at the back of the restaurant, which is at 1970 13th St.

Oberst said Akin slid into the booth and that Sebastian started to follow her, but King said he would be sitting next to Akin. Oberst said during the meal she saw King and Akin kissing, but did not know if Sebastian was there to witness this.

While Oberst didn’t hear exactly what led up to it, she said Sebastian and King began to argue.

“It got heated at some point,” Oberst said. “I definitely heard some insults going back and forth.”

Oberst said Sebastian asked to take things outside, but King said it wasn’t the time. Oberst testified things calmed down a bit, but got heated again when the bill came and some at the table felt King, who ordered an appetizer, entree and two bottles of wine, needed to put in more.

“We felt like he should have paid more, so there was a little bit of dispute about that,” Oberst said. “There definitely was some tension about that.”

Oberst said Sebastian confronted King about the bill, and the two once again began to argue. This time when Sebastian said they should take it outside, the two left.

“It wasn’t calming down,” Oberst said. “We had tried and it wasn’t being resolved.”

Oberst said despite the size differential, she felt Sebastian would beat King up because she knew Sebastian was “very strong.” She also testified she did not believe the two were leaving to go home, as King left some items behind and neither said goodbye to anyone else in the group.

Shortly after that, Oberst said she heard the shots.

Jordan Crumby, who was eating with friends at a table in the restaurant, testified she also heard the shots and then saw a man come inside and fall down and “crabwalk” backwards.

“He stumbled in and fell backwards and was on the ground,” Crumby said.

Crumby said the man on the floor said something to the effect of “Please don’t shoot,” as another man — who she identified in court as Sebastian — followed King in.

″(Sebastian) just walked into the restaurant, seemed kind of calm, from what I remember,” Crumby said. “He didn’t say anything, just walked up and shot.”

But while Crumby described Sebastian as calm, another witness Aurora Fernandez said she remembers both the shooter and the victim being “frantic,” and that the shooter appeared “manic.”

“Like, a combination of afraid, angry, alarmed,” Fernandez said. “I was afraid he was going to shoot more people.”

Fernandez pointed out Sebastian as the shooter, though she said she was only partially sure it was him.

Another witness, Gabrielle Decristofaro, testified she never saw a victim come in and only saw a shooter come in and fire a gun at the ground. She said she did not get a good enough look at the shooter to identify him.

While Decristofaro’s testimony was short, it did cost attorneys a juror, who said he didn’t recognize Decristofaro’s name when it was read during jury selection but recognized her face as his “favorite waitress” at the Lazy Dog.

Hartman, the judge, dismissed the juror at the request of defense attorneys and over the objection of prosecutors, leaving the trial with 14 jurors, including two alternates.

“Even though I have no question this juror would attempt to be fair and impartial, I am going to have to strike him at this point,” Hartman said.

Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars