Among the most controversial local stories of last spring involved the shooting of Marcus Duran, a seventeen-year old who died during at break-in on Gaylord Street. A decision about charges in the incident took time, with nearly a month passing before the Denver District Attorney's Office handed down a justifiable homicide decision. And now, six months later, the homeowner, Darrell Kutchin, has stepped forward to defend his actions.
The scoop comes courtesy of CBS4's Brian Maass, who provides previously unknown details about the incident. It seems that a trio of teens that included Duran, who tested positive for alcohol, marijuana and opiates in a post-mortem exam, invaded the home of a woman who called 911, then moved on to Kutchin's residence.
Although Kutchin is a professional masseuse, he keeps a loaded handgun -- a Taurus Judge, so named because judges often carry the weapon, Maass reports -- in a sock near where he sleeps. When he heard the teens enter, he grabbed the gun and confronted them near the entrance. His first shot missed, but after seeing Duran with a pistol of his own, Kutchin fired again. This time, the bullet entered Duran's head. Duran died at the scene, despite Kutchin's attempts at administering medical assistance.
Unsurprisingly, Duran's mother, Cynthia Gonzales, isn't soothed by the additional information; she thinks Kutchin could have fired a warning shot or fired to wound rather than kill. But while Kutchin continues to struggle with the incident, he feels he made the only choice he could. He tells Maass: "I did the right thing. He was an individual who made an error in judgment that was very costly. It was an error in judgment that he chose to end his life."
Look below to see the June 2010 Denver DA's office press release about the decision not to charge Kutchin, complete with links to citations used in reaching this conclusion, as well as two Fox31 stories about the case -- the first broadcast immediately after the shooting, the second about the DA's determination:
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DA CLEARS HOMEOWNER IN SHOOTING
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has completed his review of a fatal shooting that occurred May 24, 2010 at 3150 Gaylord Street. The conclusion is that no criminal charges will be filed against the homeowner who shot and killed a juvenile who had broken into the home.
Upon reviewing all of the available information and evidence, the conclusion is that the homeowner was defending himself against multiple unknown intruders, one of whom was armed with a loaded handgun. The homeowner fired his weapon, killing the armed juvenile intruder.
The decision that no criminal charges are fileable against the homeowner is the result of a thorough review of all of the facts of this case, examined with applicable statutes.
Colorado's self-defense statutes include --
18-1-704. Use of physical force in defense of a person. Colorado Revised Statutes
18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder. Colorado Revised Statutes
18-1-705. Use of physical force in defense of premises. Colorado Revised Statutes
18-1-706. Use of physical force in defense of property. Colorado Revised Statutes
Criminal charges have been filed against two other intruders; they have been charged as juveniles with burglary. Both cases are still pending.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Robert Wallace shooting: Make My Day law meets Gran Torino."