Rock-throwing high school senior admits murdering 20-year-old driver who died from ‘massive trauma to the head’ while on the phone with a friend

Alexa Bartell, Nicholas Karol-Chik

Alexa Bartell (image provided by, First Judicial District Attorney’s Office) Nicholas Karol-Chik (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office mug shot)

The second domino has fallen in the prosecutions of three high school seniors facing charges in the rock-throwing death of a 20-year-old driver who was on the phone with a friend that fateful night, as one of the three teens has pleaded guilty to murder.

Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik, 19, decided to plead guilty on Wednesday to second-degree murder, avoiding a possible first-degree murder conviction at trial but nonetheless agreeing to serve at least 35 years in state prison and as many as 48 years behind bars for killing Alexa Bartell, the Denver Post reported.

The plea agreement reportedly acknowledges that Karol-Chik was a passenger in the front seat of his Chevrolet Silverado when he handed co-defendant and driver Joseph Koenig, 19, a large “landscaping rock” that Koenig allegedly used to smash Bartell’s windshield, sending her Chevy Spark “off the roadway” and into a field, killing her.

Karol-Chik reportedly admitted not only to joining in on attacks that injured three other drivers and smashed seven cars that night, but also to late February 2023 and early April 2023 attacks with the same drive-by-rock-throwing modus operandi.

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