Crime

Update: The Resolution of Stephen Futrell's Strip Club Murder Case

Update: In September 2015, Stephen Futrell, nicknamed "Magic," was arrested on suspicion of murdering a man outside PT's II, a local strip club; see our previous coverage below.

An affidavit in the case, also shared here, maintained that Futrell killed Jeremy Garcia after becoming upset that the patron had grabbed his shoulders in a too-familiar way.

Now Futrell has accepted a deal in the case, albeit one that carries a heavy sentence.

According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, Futrell pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for the dropping of two other charges: first-degree murder and a weapons beef.

His sentence: 35 years in prison.

Continue for our previous coverage.

Update, 6:35 a.m. September 18, 2015: We've recently told you about arrests in three recent metro-area homicides: the slaying of taxi driver Darren Bloomquist, Nick Vandervoort's alleged killing of Donald Johnson near a Bear Valley King Soopers and Jessie Oliver's arrest for a murder in Montbello.

Now comes a fourth — the charging of Stephen Futrell for murdering Jeremy Garcia outside PT's II, an East Colfax strip club; see our previous coverage below.

The Futrell case is the only one of this quartet for which an arrest affidavit has been made available to us.

The document, on view below, maintains that Futrell, nicknamed "Magic," shot Garcia because he didn't like the way the latter man shook him.

The incident took place just after midnight on September 13 — and police quickly determined that surveillance video had caught images of Garcia and his suspected killer both inside and outside the club.

Later that morning, investigators quizzed a source whose identity is protected in the police report. That person said Futrell had been coming into the bar for about two months, usually on Fridays and Saturdays — and he introduced himself as Magic. For his part, Garcia had been a regular for a month or so.

On the evening in question, Futrell apparently felt Garcia got a little too familiar with him.
The victim came up behind Magic, grabbed Magic by the shoulders and shook Magic. This upset Magic and Magic told the victim, "You don't know me like that!" The victim told Magic, "We can settle this right now!" Magic told the victim "Settle what?" [Deleted] told Magic and the victim to stop arguing and directed each of them to opposite sides of the bar.
Futrell went outside a short time later, presumably to smoke a cigarette. After that, Garcia headed outside, too — and within minutes, a woman ran into the club to announce that someone had been shot.

How did the cops find Futrell? Turns out he'd given his phone number to the unnamed source a couple of weeks earlier. Turns out one of his aliases was "Mr. Magic."

The Denver District Attorney's Office has charged Futrell with first-degree murder after deliberation and possession of a weapon by a previous offender — second offense. He's expected to appear in court next week.

Look below to see a larger version of Futrell's mug shot, the police report and our earlier reporting.

Stephen Futrell Arrest Affidavit


Update, 8:35 a.m. September 17: The victim of an early morning shooting outside PT's II, a strip club at 8315 East Colfax, has been identified.

At 12:45 a.m. on September 13, according to the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner, Jeremy Garcia, 29, was transported by ambulance to Denver Health Medical Center.

He was pronounced dead at 1:18 a.m.

The cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds.

Thus far, there have been no arrests in the case and no reports of progress — something that this homicide shares in common with far too many metro-area crimes lately.

Continue for our previous coverage.

Original post, 7:35 a.m. September 14: It's been a rough few months for the venerable PT's strip clubs in Denver — and things just got rougher.

Early yesterday morning, a shooting took place outside PT's II, 8315 East Colfax, following a promotion dubbed #selfiesaturday. One man died in the incident.

No suspect information has been released thus far in the third recent significant crime committed at or near one of PT's locations this year.

Back in April, as we've reported, a barricade situation at the original PT's shut down traffic for hours around its 1601 West Evans location.

Robbers are said to have busted into the venue, but they managed to escape without detection. No arrests have been made in the case.

Then, late last month, we told you about the stabbing of exotic dancer TeJae Se'Rae Cannon, allegedly by another stripper, near the West Evans setting. Thus far, we've found no reports about arrests in this incident, either.

Then, just past 1 a.m. on Sunday, September 13, the Denver Police Department issued a tweet about violence on the 8300 block of East Colfax....

...and followed with this grim update:

As you can see, the tweets don't make a specific reference to PT's — but outlets such as Fox31 were able to confirm that the shooting took place in the club's parking lot.


Shortly after the shooting, Fox31 personnel arrived at the scene and shared images like this one:

On the night of the incident, the venue's sign touted a September 18 game of "Naked Dodge Ball," a contest also hyped on Facebook.


At this writing, the victim of the shooting has only been identified as an adult male.

Look below to see an interactive graphic of the area near the club. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."


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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