Like the allegedly marijuana-related fatal crash involving Joshua Wittig, the January 2010 murder of Douglass Singleton, reportedly during a robbery involving medical marijuana, made a big splash initially, then fell off the media's radar. Turns out a lot's happened in the case, including a hung jury in the first trial of accused killer Peter Bellar. But Bellar will soon be headed back to court.
Singleton was gunned down on the 2600 block of North Leyden Street . Shortly thereafter, according to a Denver Police Department account, a man suffering from a gunshot wound walked into Denver Health. According to a DPD release, an investigation subsequently revealed that the Leyden Street victim and the man at Denver Health "were conducting a Medical Marijuana transaction at the residence when an altercation occurred. The suspect pulled a gun and shot the victim, the suspect received his gunshot wound in this altercation as well."
Days later, Peter Bellar was arrested and charged with murder. In early February, a second man, Isaiah Shaffer, was charged in the Singleton killing as well; he was said to have accompanied Bellar.
In the meantime, many members of the MMJ community suggested that police were playing up the medical marijuana angle of the homicide to demonize weed at a time when bills to formalize and regulate the industry were before the Colorado legislature.
Those measures subsequently passed -- and the following October, Bellar finally went to trial. However, according to Denver District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough, that proceeding "ended with a not-guilty verdict on two aggravated robbery counts and a hung jury on felony murder."
Afterward, the DA's office didn't raise the white flag. Kimbrough confirms that Bellar will be tried again on the felony murder accusation, with the next trial scheduled for April 15. Shaffer is slated to go before the court to face his own charges on July 12.
Look below and page down to see original booking photos of Bellar and Schaffer, as well as Denver DA's office releases announcing charges against them and an interactive graphic showing the area near where the homicide took place; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
Denver District Attorney's Office release about Peter Bellar:
MAN CHARGED IN ROBBERY/MURDER
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has formally a charged a man accused in the robbery and murder of a 59-year-old Denver man earlier this week.
Peter Bellar (dob: 04-12-83) is charged with first-degree murder (F1) and aggravated robbery (F3).
The charges allege that on January 5, 2010 at about 12:30 a.m., Bellar shot and killed Douglass Singleton while trying to rob him at his home in the 2600 block of Leyden Street. Bellar was also wounded by gunfire and has been treated.
He is scheduled to appear in Denver County Court, room 472W, on Monday, January 11, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. to be formally advised of the charges.
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Denver District Attorney's Office release about Isaiah Shaffer:
SECOND MAN CHARGED IN ROBBERY/MURDER
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has formally charged another man in connection with the robbery and murder of a 59-year-old Denver man last month.
Isaiah Shaffer (dob: 05-03-81) is charged with first-degree felony murder (F1) and two counts of aggravated robbery (F3).
The charges allege that on January 5, 2010 at about 12:30 a.m., Shaffer and co-defendant Peter Bellar robbed Douglass Singleton at his home in the 2600 block of Leyden Street. During the robbery, Singleton was killed and Bellar was wounded by gunfire.
Shaffer remains in custody in the Denver County Jail where he is being held without bond. He is scheduled to appear in Denver County Courtroom 472W on Friday, February 5, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. for a formal advisement of his charges.
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More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Amara Kamoh Sayon, Cherise Houston ID'd as homicide victims in S. Quince shooting (64, 65)."