More than four years later, Brandon Jackson — one of five men thought to have been responsible for the slaying — has been found guilty of murder and more.
The conviction was based on evidence that Jackson and his compatriots mistook Malual for a member of a rival gang.
As such, Malual was an innocent bystander who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As we noted in our original post, Malual fled South Sudan in an attempt to get away from violence — specifically that caused by the civil war raging there.
Upon settling in Denver, he reportedly landed a job as an RTD bus mechanic.
The gig required him to work odd hours — which is why he was just returning to his home at around 3 a.m. on that fateful December 26th.
Malual's residence was located on the 1100 block of South Xenia Street, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."
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He was still in his vehicle when he was fatally shot in the head.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, police told us they had no suspects — and years passed before Jackson and company were publicly named in relation to Malual's death.
Finally, in July 2014, the five were indicted by an Arapahoe County grand jury.
At the time, prosecutors said the men were on hand because a member of a rival gang with whom they'd engaged in multiple Denver-area shootouts lived in an apartment complex on Xenia. When Malual drove up, one of the men mistook him for the banger in question and shot him dead — after which additional shots were fired at the apartment before they split.
Jackson has received his sentence for his part in the crime, and it's appropriately harsh. He has been found guilty of first-degree murder after deliberation, attempted first-degree murder after deliberation, attempted first-degree murder — extreme indifference, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and a crime-accessory count. His sentence: life without the possibility of parole.
Our condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Youn Malual.
Update: While assembling this post, we contacted the 18th Judicial District, which prosecuted the Brandon Jackson case, to get an update about the other four people indicted in the matter: Amin El-Howeris. Devon Grant-Washington, Urocca Guyton and Bruce Roberts.
Turns out the results have been a mixed bag. One person was convicted of murder and more, to which he was sentenced to life without parole last month, while another earned a probationary sentence and a third was acquitted. Meanwhile, a fourth case is still pending.
Here are the details:
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In the case of People Of The State Of Colorado Vs. Bruce Roberts: On June 1, 2015, the defendant pleaded guilty to Accessory To Crime. He was sentenced to 3 years of probation.
In the case of People Of The State Of Colorado Vs. Urocca Guyton: On November 20, 2015, an Arapahoe County jury acquitted the defendant, 29 of Denver, of the following charges: First Degree Murder — After Deliberation (F1); Attempted First Degree Murder After Deliberation (F2); Attempted First Degree Murder — Extreme Indifference (F2); and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder (F2).
In the case of People Of The State Of Colorado Vs. Amin El-Howeris: On January 19, 2016, an Arapahoe County jury convicted the defendant, 27 of Aurora, of: First Degree Murder — After Deliberation (F1); Attempted First Degree Murder After Deliberation (F2); Attempted First Degree Murder — Extreme Indifference (F2); and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder (F2). On March 10, 2016, the defendant was sentenced to Life in Prison without the Possibility of Parole.
In the case of People Of The State Of Colorado Vs. Devon Grant-Washington: The defendant is set for a Pre-Trial Readiness Conference on 5/19 at 8:25 a.m. in the Arapahoe County Justice Center, Division 309. He is set for trial 5/31-6/17.
Look below to see booking photos of the five men indicted in the case.