Man gets life in prison for murder, kidnap crime spree in 2011

DENVER — A man was sent to prison for life Friday for a crime spree that included the murder of one man and the kidnapping of a shopping mall security guard.

A judge sentenced William Lornes for the crimes he committed in 2011. The judge made sure he won’t be able to hurt anyone else. Lornes will not be eligible for parole.

A young woman was working as a security guard at Cherry Creek Mall in April 2011 when she was just getting off of work. Lornes kidnapped her at gunpoint and forced her into the trunk of her own car.

When police caught him, they charged him with murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

The woman was kidnapped after Lornes had already kidnapped and killed 73-year-old Gerald Shwartzman. His body was found in a dumpster. One of the seasoned prosecutors called it one of the most horrific crime sprees their office has seen. “I still can’t imagine as long as I’ve done this job what those victims went through,” says Denver Chief Deputy District Attorney Christine Washburn.

Shortly after Shwartzman’s murder, Lornes drove to Cherry Creek Mall where he carjacked the woman and forced her into the trunk.

“I was shaking the whole time but I was able to keep my head clear,” she says.

The woman escaped from her kidnapper. After her ordeal, she spoke to FOX31 Denver in 2011. “Once he said get in the trunk that’s when I started crying and he hit me.”

Investigators arrested Lornes soon after he was caught on video at a “bed and breakfast” in Jefferson County.

He spent the next three years in lengthy competency hearings and a grueling trial. That ended Friday when Judge Martin Egglehoff sentenced Lornes to life in prison plus nearly 100 years.

“I didn’t grow my kid up to be like that,” his mother said as she left the courtroom sobbing. She called her son troubled. “I am sorry for what happened to them, you know. I just hope he gets help.”

Inside court, Lornes had only one thing to say. “I apologize and I feel sorry for the things that have happened to everybody.”

Shwartzman’s family did not talk to the media after the sentencing.

The woman kidnapped from Cherry Creek Mall was not in court for the sentencing. She says the ordeal was terrifying and she’s trying to move on and just put it behind her.