At a press conference yesterday, the Denver Sheriff's Office tried to explain how Sebastian Littlejohn, who was being held in Denver jail on charges related to violent felony beefs, was mistakenly set free, only to be recaptured a day later. This time, the sheriff's office may not be at fault. But the incident is only the latest embarrassment for the DSO, following the busts of two deputies -- one who allegedly helped an inmate escape, the other who allegedly hosted a pukey hot tub party with fourteen-year-old girls.
According to 7News, Littleton, eighteen, was busted last fall on suspicion of robbery and kidnapping involving sexual assault. In addition, 9News notes that Littlejohn has a previous aggravated robbery conviction on his record.
Clearly, the sheriff's office had plenty of reasons to keep Littlejohn behind bars. But on Monday, personnel received information authorizing his release from custody -- so he was set free.
Problem is, the paperwork had been sent in error. The gaffe was discovered yesterday morning, at which time the Denver Police Department was brought into the loop and asked to help round him up.
The DPD did its job, and within 24 hours or so, Littlejohn was back behind bars. But there were plenty of questions for Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson about how he'd wound up back on the streets in the first place.
At this point, Wilson believes the DSO followed proper procedure in regard to the paperwork. If so, the agency that issued the release may be primarily at fault. But there are also concerns that policies in place to check the veracity of such documents may be lacking, and revelations in that arena could land at the DSO's doorstep.
Meanwhile, the mistaken release recalls memories of Felix Trujillo, who escaped from the Denver jail last year with the assistance of Deputy Matthew Andrews, who was arrested and charged for his actions.
And that's not to mention Paul Della Rosa, a veteran deputy who found himself on the wrong end of the handcuffs after he reportedly supplied booze at a hot tub party for some fourteen-year-old girls at a Black Hawk casino.
Westword has covered both the Trujillo and Della Rosa stories. Get more details about each case in our previous coverage, shared here.
In the meantime, look below to see a larger version of Littlejohn's booking photo, followed by a 9News report and our previous coverage of the Paul Della Rosa and Felix Trujillo cases, featuring more photos and videos.
Continue for our original coverage of the Paul Della Rosa and Felix Trujillo cases, including photos and videos. "Paul Della Rosa, Denver deputy, busted after pukey hot tub party with fourteen year old girls"
January 24, 2014
The photos of three teenage girls on the Facebook page belonging to Paul Della Rosa, a veteran deputy with the Denver Sheriff's Department, may be perfectly innocent. They could feature family members (he's got a young daughter) or friends of friends.
Whatever the case, Della Rosa was jailed for allegedly contributing to the delinquency of three fourteen-year-old girls via pervy Facebook messages, as well as a drunken, pukey hot tub party -- which he's said to have captured on video.
According to 9News, the investigation of Della Rosa got underway after the mom of one fourteen year old eyeballed sexually charged Facebook conversations between the deputy, age 52, and her daughter.
The station says many of the messages were too racy to broadcast, but it did share a couple of them: "I will have to lick you again," and "You little Vixon [sic], I knew I liked you for a reason."
And then there was a trip to the Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, at which Della Rosa is said to have plied the teens with alcohol and taken footage of them in a hot tub, where one of them vomited.
Investigators have not yet found the footage.
As for those Facebook photos we mentioned earlier (update), we previously posted one cropped to protect the identities of those pictured -- but we have removed it at the request of one girl's mother.
At this point, Della Rosa has only been charged with providing the girls with alcohol, but the investigation is continuing. At last report, Della Rosa was behind bars in Gilpin County. His bond: $10,000.
Here's a larger look at Della Rosa's mug shot, followed by a 9News piece.
Continue for our original coverage of the Felix Trujillo escape, including photos and video. "Felix Trujillo gets another ten years for bizarre, deputy-aided jail escape"
August 13, 2013
Back in April, Felix Trujillo became the first person ever to escape from Denver's new jail -- with a little help from Deputy Matthew Andrews, who swore he'd only aided the inmate because of threats to his family.
A few weeks later, Trujillo publicly claimed Andrews actually assisted him because he believed the con was rich and would give him a big reward. Instead, Andrews is due back in court next week, while Trujillo has accepted another decade in stir for his role in the scheme. Photos, videos and more below.
The basics of the incident are spelled out in not one but two affidavits on view below -- one pertaining to Trujillo, the other naming Andrews. On April 7, the documents recount, Trujillo was being held at the downtown detention center for aggravated robbery, pending trial, when he boarded an elevator with Andrews while clad in the deputy's hat and jacket.
The two of them then left the facility, with Andrews later revealing that he'd driven Trujillo to a location near 84th and Washington and dropped him off. Why? Allegedly because "he had recently received a phone call from an unknown party informing him that there was a 'contract' out on him and his family and that in order to remain unharmed, he needed to help Trujillo escape from custody," the Trujillo affidavit states.
That's not the tale Trujillo shared with CBS4's Brian Maass. As we've reported, the inmate told Maass that over the course of the nine months he'd been in stir, Andrews mentioned his dire financial situation on numerous occasions -- and it slowly became clear that the deputy thought Trujillo was rich due to posts on his still-active Facebook page, which identifies him (irony alert) as "Honest Trujillo." Here's one of the photos on the page....
Now, all of us (except, in Trujillo's telling, Andrews) know that just because a person shares a photo of something really expensive on Facebook doesn't mean he actually owns it. But Trujillo said he played up the deputy's delusion, arranging for him to smuggle in a cellphone and charger in exchange for The Price Is Right-style package of movie passes, a washer and dryer, and $1,500 in cash.
Not that he actually received all these prizes: Trujillo insists the only things he forked over in exchange for the phone were the movie passes, plus tickets to Elitch's.
Next, Trujillo maintained that Andrews came to him and offered to facilitate his escape in exchange for $500,000. Trujillo reportedly agreed and gave the deputy a number said to be for his brother, who was going to coordinate things. Instead, though, Trujillo claimed the digits connected to his own phone -- the one Andrews brought him.
About Andrews, he said, "He was pretty dumb."
During the planning process, Trujillo, masquerading as his brother, allegedly texted Andrews photos showing bags of money. Here's how CBS4 depicts them in its coverage:
According to Trujillo, Andrews rushed to show the pics to Trujillo after receiving them, saying that he knew they were real.
The actual source of the money-bag shots? Google Images, Trujillo allowed.
When the time came for the actual escape, Trujillo said Andrews brought him a deputy's uniform -- an action that stunned the former's fellow jailees. In his words, "The inmates are looking at me like what the hell is going on? I'm going with the flow, you know."
Shortly after making their way out of the facility, Andrews and Trujillo drove off, with the deputy supposedly urging the inmate to shoot him in the leg to make the escape look more real. Trujillo said he passed up this offer: "I'm like, I ain't shooting no cop. I was like, 'No, we don't need to do none of that.' This guy thinks he's in a movie. If I shoot a deputy in the leg and escape from jail they're going to want to kill me."
Before long, the pair arrived at an apartment in Thornton; it was supposed to be Trujillo's brother's place, but the building was actually one where Trujillo had lived years earlier. After Trujillo went inside, Andrews allegedly sat in his car for over an hour waiting to get paid, not realizing that Trujillo had slipped out the back door and taken off. Finally, Trujillo said, he responded to one of the deputy's plaintive texts with the words "Deal's off," then broke the phone.
Will Trujillo share this story from the witness stand? Impossible to know at this point: Andrews is due in court for arraignment on Monday, August 19, but a trial could be short-circuited by a number of circumstances, including a plea deal.
In the meantime, Trujillo has pleaded guilty to a single count of escape. Earlier, he'd done likewise in regard to the burglary, as well as a crime of violence, and received a 24-year jolt. The escape adds ten years to that: The sentence will run consecutively, not concurrently, giving him a total of 34 years in jail.
Unless he can find a cooperative deputy, that is.
Here's the CBS4 report from May and the aforementioned affidavits.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa May 2013: "Felix Trujillo, inmate, says deputy who helped him escape thought (wrongly) he'd get $500K."