Crime

The 14 Most Shocking Colorado Crimes of April

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On the day after Christmas in 2011, as we reported, father of five Youn Malual was murdered in an incident that shattered the local Sudanese community.

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....

Read more in: Brandon Jackson Guilty in Gang Shooting of Innocent Bystander

At first, the cause of death for Oklahoma's Joshua Foster and Zach Moore in northern Colorado last year appeared to be a vehicle fire.

But further investigation suggested that they'd been murdered, with the fire presumably set to cover up evidence of the crime.

And now, months after their passing, two people — Samuel Pinney and Samantha Simmons — have been arrested on suspicion of having killed them.

Pinney sports a head tattoo that reads "Outlaw."

In addition, a third person, Nathaniel Young, is in custody in relation to the case. He's accused of playing a role in the robbery that precipitated the deadly chain of events....

Read more in: Sam Pinney, Samantha Simmons Busted in Double Murder: Pot Heist the Motive?

There's no lack of evidence against Rusty Barnhart regarding a sexual assault that dates back to 1984.

DNA ties him to the crime, and an arrest affidavit on view below quotes him as admitting that he had sex with a woman under very similar circumstances around that time after Inocencio "Junior" Trevino, who's also charged in the case, claimed that the victim "wanted it."

Nonetheless, neither Barnhart nor Trevino is being charged with sexual assault, because the statute of limitations for this offense has expired — and that would be true even if a current piece of Colorado legislation extending these limits becomes law.

Instead, the men face kidnapping charges that could net a sentence as small as four years behind bars....

Read more in: Why Rusty Barnhart Won't Be Charged for Horrific Rape Linked to His DNA

Branden Harms is said to have watched his girlfriend's baby for a few hours earlier this month.

What happened over that span is unclear.

But one thing is certain.

Just over a day later, the child was dead — and Harms has been arrested under suspicion that he was responsible....

Read more in: Branden Harms Busted for Murder: Babysitting Followed by Infant's Death

Some folks remain uncomfortable with the prevalence of HALO cameras on Denver streets, typically because they don't like the idea that Big Brother is watching them.

But law enforcers counter that the cameras help them catch criminals who might otherwise go unpunished.

A case in point: Former taxi driver Hidet Molla has now been found guilty of kidnapping, sexual assault and more against an incapacitated passenger who tells investigator she woke up to find him in bed with her and asking, "Are you a virgin?"

A number of factors outlined in the original arrest affidavit, on view below in its entirety, made nabbing Molla difficult. However, the cops were able to zero in on him using HALO video....

Read more in: Cabbie Hidet Molla Guilty of Sex Assault on Drunk Passenger: "Are You a Virgin?"

Last summer, a family member of Camille Harrell, who was murdered in June, told us that the "gentle giant" was killed after defending her twin sister, Carmen, at East Colfax's Sand & Sage Motel.

Now, in the wake of Brandon Foote's conviction for the crime (Merita Curry, who's also charged in the case, is still awaiting trial), a previously sealed arrest affidavit has been released — and it confirms this account.

According to the document, on view below in its entirety, Camille fired a warning shot to stop an assault on Carmen by Foote and Curry. Shortly thereafter, the report goes on, Foote gunned her down....

Read more in: Affidavit: Camille Harrell Killed After Warning Shot to Defend Twin Sister

How much was Timothy Gomez's life worth?

According to a jury, Charlie Brammeier valued it at $20 — the amount of a drug transaction prosecutors say led to Gomez being beaten to death by a Mag-Lite flashlight.

But the cost to Brammeier will turn out to be infinitely higher than that....

Read more in: Jury: Charlie Brammeier Killed Timothy Gomez With Flashlight Over $20 in Crack
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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