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Ex-soldier sentenced to life in prison for murder of Denver tran - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Ex-soldier sentenced to life in prison for murder of Denver transit guard

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(Joshua Cummings)

DENVER - A Denver jury has convicted a man of first degree murder in the death of an Regional Transportation District security guard and pastor and he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

On Jan. 31, 2017, Joshua Cummings approached Scott Von Lanken, who was helping two women outside Union Station.

One of the women testified Cummings held a gun to Von Lanken’s head and said “do exactly as I say.” Cummings then shot and killed him.

The jury deliberated in Cummings’ case for three hours.

On Thursday afternoon Cummings was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Von Lanken was a former police officer who was working as a contract security guard for the Denver area's Regional Transportation District. CBS Denver also reports that Von Lanken was a pastor.

(Scott Von Lanken)

Cummings told The Associated Press shortly after his arrest that he supported the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but investigators said they had not found any evidence that the terror group had anything to do with the killing.

Cummings, who joined the Army in 1996 but never saw combat, said he pledged his allegiance to ISIS and fasted behind bars for three days to purge himself of an oath he took to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The Islamic convert from Texas declined to discuss the crime with the AP or whether his support for the militant group led him to shoot Von Lanken.

Members of mosques in the Denver area reported concerns about him to authorities before the shooting.

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