Marcus Duran shooting: Will justifiable homicide ruling end alleged threats?

Last month, we told you about the shooting of Marcus Duran, seventeen, by a homeowner during a burglary attempt. Although a decision about potential charges against the homeowner lingered for weeks, the Denver DA's office now calls the incident a justifiable homicide. But what about reported threats against the homeowner?

In covering the DA's office decision that the incident fell under various self-defense statutes (despite Duran having died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Denver coroner's office), Channel 31/Channel 2 crew members visited the house in question. They found the 3150 Gaylord Street residence boarded up, and neighbors told them the owner had left after reportedly receiving threats.

If that's true, he didn't share this information with the Denver Police Department. According to DPD spokesman Sonny Jackson, "We were aware of a memorial that was held on his property. But as far as any threats, they weren't brought to our attention."

Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the DA's office, says she hasn't received information about threats against the homeowner, either. Regarding the decision, she notes that Duran's multiple wounds were among many factors personnel weighed before coming to a final determination.

"The information that came from the office of the medical examiner, as well as all the other pieces of information that were gathered from witnesses, interviews and from the scene, were all taken into consideration in the review," she says.

She notes that the so-called "Make My Day" statute was only one of the self-defense regulations used to determine that charges against the homeowner weren't justified. In addition, she emphasizes that "the length of time for this particular review was more a matter of the time it took to make sure all the information had come in, and not a reflect of this being a close call."

Look below to check out the DA's office explanation of its no-charges decision, as well as the aforementioned television report:


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.


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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts