Update: Last week, we told you about the arrest of Robert Trujillo in the Knox Court murder of Natasha Carrillo; see our original coverage below. Now, Trujillo has been formally charged with a crime detailed in an affidavit on view below. It features references to domestic violence, marijuana hidden under a couch and an innocent man who was initially taken into custody.
The document notes that Denver Police officers were dispatched to 1497 Knox Court at 4:23 p.m. on August 10 after receiving a 911 call from an identified male who said his girlfriend had been shot by a handgun-wielding twenty-something black male looking to buy marijuana. When his girlfriend said she didn't have any weed (or any money, either), the caller added that the man -- described as wearing a blue shirt and black pants -- shot her and then ran south on Knox Court. But when the operator asked follow-up questions about the caller's location, he reportedly hung up.
At the residence, officers found Carrillo with a gunshot wound on the left side of her chest. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 4:48 p.m.
A detective quickly ran Carrillo's name and discovered that she had a mandatory protection order against Trujillo, who was wanted by cops in Denver and Lakewood for three different offenses -- probation violations related to burglary, assault/domestic violence and theft/larceny.
A witness subsequently said that after hearing a shot, she saw Carrillo's boyfriend emerge from the house and drive away in a white vehicle. But whileTrujillo owned a white Buick Century, the witness was unable to pick him, or anyone else, out of a photo lineup.
Shortly thereafter, an officer saw a black male in the area who roughly fit the description given by the 911 caller, although his blue shirt was paired with black shorts, not black pants. Moreover, he was walking with his grandfather, had no weapon and wasn't sweating as if he'd been running. The man was taken to Denver Police headquarters anyway, but the report says his "story was confirmed" -- meaning he had nothing to do with Carrillo's death.
A few hours later, during a search of the house, a wooden box containing two bags of likely marijuana was found underneath a couch -- a discovery that contradicted the 911 caller's claim that no drugs were in the house.
The next day, officers interviewed Carrillo's mother, who told them Natasha and Trujillo had been a couple for thirteen years and had a child together; Trujillo had Natasha's name tattooed on one side of his neck, the child's on the other. But she also said Trujillo had abused Natasha in the past, breaking her nose and her arm. Also quizzed was Trujillo's mom, who confirmed that her son owned a gun -- one she'd warned him to remove from the home, since there was a young child living there.
Despite the failure of a witness to ID Trujillo in a photo lineup, cops were convinced by this accumulation of information that they had probable cause to bust Trujillo for first-degree murder -- and the Denver District Attorney's office agrees. He remains in custody.
As for Natasha, she'll be laid to rest at a ceremony scheduled for tomorrow. Her obituary is accompanied by the following lines:
Don't think of her as gone away, Her journey has just begun.
Life holds so many facets -- this earth is only one.
Just think of her as resting from the sorrows and the tears in a place of warmth and comfort. Where there are no days or years....
She must be wishing that we could know today how nothing but our sadness really passes away. So think of her as living in the hearts of those she touched, for nothing loved is ever lost and we all know she was loved so much. May you rest in peace, for now you are in God's precious kingdom having a feast.
We all love you!
Look below to see the latest Trujillo mug shot, followed by the aforementioned arrest affidavit.
Original item, 8:58 a.m. August 13: Since the Aurora theater shootings, few other murders have taken place in the metro area, including Denver proper, where the mark of twenty homicides through June is actually four lower than at the same time last year. But this relatively peaceful streak was shattered by gunfire that took the life of Natasha Carrillo, twenty. And yesterday, another twenty-year-old, Robert Trujillo, was arrested in connection with the crime.
Thus far, the Denver Police Department has released only the barest details about the crime. At about 4:20 p.m. on Friday, the DPD was called to 1497 Knox Court after receiving a report about a shooting. There, they found a young woman subsequently identified as Carrillo suffering from a gunshot to the chest -- a wound that killed her according to the Denver coroner's office. She was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Cut to 6 p.m. last night, when Trujillo was arrested in West Denver on suspicion of first-degree murder and what's described as "other outstanding warrants." No details on what they were at this writing.
Below, see a larger version of Trujillo's booking photo, followed by an interactive graphic of the area near the crime scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Twenty Denver homicides in first half of 2012: See where they happened."