Antonio Rios third person sentenced in beating death of Nathan Bozonier, age 16

It was among the most shocking crimes to take place in these parts during recent years: sixteen-year-old Nathan Bozonier was hit by a car, then beaten to death with a baseball bat.

Now, Antonio Rios becomes the third person convicted in his murder, following Adrian Ray Quintana and Lakiesha Vigil. How did the nightmare go down?

The incident took place during the early hours of February 15, 2010. Bozonier was run down by what a Thornton Police Department spokesman described as a small, white, four-door sedan. Then, two men came out of the vehicle and began beating the teen with what appeared to be a baseball bat before being confronted by a large group of people and fleeing.

In tracking down the vehicle in question, Thornton cops had a big clue -- a missing piece of the front bumper. Here it is:

This key piece of evidence helped police track down the vehicle in question, a 1996 Nissan Maxima, at an area repair shop. Then, shortly thereafter, two neighborhood girls found the bat -- and it wasn't simply a piece of sporting equipment. A Thornton PD rep noted that it was covered with scribbled writing that resembled graffiti.

Mere hours later, cops arrested three people in relation to Bozonier's murder: Antonio Rios, 19; Adrian Ray Quintana, 22; and Lakiesha Vigil, 20. At the time of these busts, police also shared their belief that the incident transpired as a result of a clash between two rival gangs -- although there was no evidence Bozonier had been a member of either.

In the end, authorities determined that Vigil had been driving the Maxima when it struck Bozonier. Then Rios and Quintana used the bat to beat him to death, striking him multiple times in the torso and head.

The following November, Quintana pled guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to thirty years in prison the following month. Vigil entered a guilty plea to the same charge this past June and was sentenced to 21 years behind bars earlier this month. As for Rios, he went before a jury, which found him guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. This week, he was sentenced to thirty years in jail, as well as ten years for two previous burglary charges committed when his probation had been revoked, to be served consecutively with the other stretch.

Look below to see the booking photos of Quintana, Vigil and Rios, as well as a 9News report from shortly after Bozonier's murder.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "24 Denver homicides in 2011 through June: See where they happened (GOOGLE MAPS)."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts