Billy Otto charged with killing teens who tried blackmailing him with unseemly video (8, 9)
Earlier this week, we told you about the shocking story of William "Billy" Otto, who allegedly killed two teenagers said to have been planning a blackmail plot that hinged on a video showing the Thornton man asking to perform oral sex on one of them; see our previous coverage below.
Moments ago, Otto was officially charged in the case -- news accompanied by a booking photo offering us our first look at him. Continue for more details and a larger version of the pic.
According to the 17th Judicial District DA's office, the charges against Otto are topped by two counts of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Gustavo "Danny" Espinosa-Gamboa and Jonathan Gonzalez. Their bodies were found buried in Sedgwick, in the northeast portion of the state, in the vicinity of Otto's family farm.
In addition, Otto faces five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
Otto was formally advised of the accusations in Adams County Court this morning. He'll return there on August 20 for the setting of a date for a preliminary hearing. In the meantime, the DA's office is offering no further comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
Here's a larger look at Otto's mug shot, followed by our previous coverage.
Original post, 10:43 a.m. August 13: We don't know everything about the arrest of Adams County's William "Billy" Otto in the deaths of two teenagers, Gustavo "Danny" Espinosa-Gamboa (seen here) and Jonathan Gonzalez.
But the information contained in Otto's arrest affidavit suggests a truly awful sequence of events whose elements include potentially illicit sexual behavior and a blackmail plot over a damning video that backfired in a fatal way, ending with a burial more than a hundred miles away. Details, photos and videos below.
An arrest affidavit for Otto obtained by 7News lays out the terrible happenings that allegedly took place in a home near Thornton.
Billy Otto's home near Thornton.
A friend of the teens is quoted in the affidavit as saying that Otto, a maintenance worker at a bakery, had a reputation for inviting young teens to his home to drink alcohol and hang out.
Espinosa-Gamboa, sixteen, and Gonzalez, fifteen, apparently took him up on this invite -- but another offer was even more problematic. The document says the teens captured a video of Otto allegedly asking Espinosa-Gamboa if he could perform oral sex on him, in addition to touching him in an inappropriate way.
Afterward, they apparently hatched a plot to blackmail Otto with the clip, and they didn't keep the idea to themselves; the affidavit quotes two people, including Espinosa-Gamboa's sister, as mentioning it. But their dreams of shaking down Otto for a six-figure sum ended in disaster.
Espinosa-Gamboa's mother reported her son missing on Saturday, telling officers he'd vanished after leaving to play basketball with Gonzalez the previous Thursday afternoon. Stories about the video and the extortion plan soon pointed investigators in the direction of Otto, but when they stopped by on Saturday, he wasn't home -- because he was driving to his family's farm, in the northeastern Colorado community of Sedgwick.
The teens were apparently buried in this area near Sedgwick.
Otto apparently hit the road in order to accomplish a terrible task.
Burying the boys.
Later that day, Otto returned to Adams County, and shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, he walked into a sheriff's department substation with a pair of friends to say he wanted to "confess to a homicide." And confess he did, including information that was presumably meant to justify his acts, at least to some degree.
In conversation with investigators, Otto said the boys had come to his home on Friday and handed him a note demanding $10,000 apiece -- likely to destroy the video, although there's no reference to it from Otto in the affidavit.
His response? Otto reportedly said, "What they fuck are you doing?" and told them to leave.
Instead, Otto claims that Gonzalez grabbed a large knife from a drawer in the kitchen. Whether the teenager waved the blade threateningly is unclear. But Otto told law enforcers that he walked to his room, grabbed a .22-caliber handgun and fired it "about four times" in their direction.
A larger look at a self-portrait of Danny Espinosa-Gamboa.
Gonzalez hit the floor first, followed by Espinosa-Gamboa, who called out for his mom before going limp, the report says.
Then came the clean-up. First, Otto said he wrapped the bodies in blankets before heading to the bakery to get some plastic. After putting the plastic around their remains, too, he loaded them into his Dodge pickup and drove to the farm in Sedgwick, where he buried them in what the affidavit describes as "his favorite place on the property."
The account changed a bit over time, but in the end, Otto drew a map that led to their graves, in an area south of Highway 138.
Autopsies have not yet been completed. But Otto was immediately taken into custody on suspicion of first-degree murder and has already made his first court appearance. He's being held without bond.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Ethniche: 10 Delicious Denver-Area Dishes From a Year of Ethnic-Food Reviews
- Race and Place Matter in Colorado Death Penalty, New Study Finds
- Our Guide to Every Recreational Marijuana Store in Metro Denver