Man Convicted of Killing East High School Football Star Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison

Reese Grant-Cobb's senior year football photo.
Reese Grant-Cobb's senior year football photo. Courtesy of Darnell Webb
Auviauntea Evans, who recently pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the July 2018 killing of an East High School football star, was sentenced to forty years in prison at a hearing today, September 13, in Denver District Court.

The seventeen-year-old victim who was killed that July 2018 night, Reese Grant-Cobb, was outside of Bourbon Grill on East Colfax Avenue when an altercation broke out. Eyewitnesses told detectives that the fight was rough, involving at least four men teaming up on Grant-Cobb.

According to a person involved in the incident, Evans, age twenty, was the last person to assault Grant-Cobb before blood appeared on his shirt. Evans then went to the north end of a nearby McDonald's parking lot, where Denver police later found a bloody knife.

click to enlarge A mugshot of Auviauntea Evans. - DENVER DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
A mugshot of Auviauntea Evans.
Denver District Attorney's Office
A woman who had been dating Evans was in her car near the fight but didn't witness it. She told detectives that a handful of people, including Evans, piled into the car, but that Evans was asked to leave. Others in the vehicle told her Evans had stabbed someone.

Evans was arrested in September 2018 and charged with first-degree murder, but later came to a plea agreement with prosecutors for a charge of second-degree murder. No others were charged in relation to the incident.

Grant-Cobb had recently graduated from DSST Stapleton, where he attended school and played on the basketball team. Since DSST Stapleton doesn't have a football team, Grant-Cobb competed for East. Coaches described Grant-Cobb as a rare talent on the offensive line; even though he was 6'3" and 250 pounds, he was quick. "He had footwork like no other. The kid was nimble," Jasper Johnson, the team's offensive-line coach, told Westword for a previous story.

Grant-Cobb also showed great ambition academically; he was set to study bio-medical engineering at the University of Northern Colorado.

"He was definitely a Renaissance man,” his friend and teammate Drew Gould told Westword. Grant-Cobb also had a strong fashion sense and loved old-school music like ’70s funk, hip-hop and jazz.

Gould said that when their peers would be out drinking, the two of them would stay in, listen to music and talk.

“He’s just one of those kids that actually wanted something. He wanted to do well. For this to happen to him, it’s overwhelming. He did not deserve this,” Johnson said.

Grant-Cobb is survived by his mother, Beverly Grant, who runs the Mo' Betta Green MarketPlace and his father, Roger Cobb.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.