A fatal confrontation last weekend between a man and his grown son was the culmination of months of turmoil.
Last fall, Nicholas Huner allegedly threatened to kill his parents, and when he died, he was within days of being charged with felony arson in a blaze that destroyed a mountain home owned by his father.
Huner, 33, was shot to death late Saturday night at his father’s Sedalia home. He had a rap sheet stretching back more than 15 years that included more than a dozen arrests, many of them related to drugs.
Douglas County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Sedalia home of Frank Leo Huner Jr., 58, about 10:15 p.m. Saturday on a report that the homeowner had shot an intruder. While officers were en route, a dispatcher told them that the caller “is saying that he shot someone that came into his house – said it’s his son and he’s now saying that he’s dead.”
Officers at the scene arrested Frank Huner on suspicion of second-degree murder. He was released after posting bail, and formal charges have not been filed.
Court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know show that Saturday’s confrontation at 3440 Elk Canyon Court was not the first incident involving the father and son.
Last Sept. 6, Douglas County deputies were dispatched to the home on a report that Nicholas Huner was suicidal. Deputies arrived at the home to yelling that “could be heard from inside the house,” according to court documents. At the time, Nicholas Huner was wanted on a warrant from Arapahoe County charging him with marijuana possession.
A deputy later wrote in an affidavit that Frank Huner told him he was afraid to go home after a conversation with his son. That conversation, according to the documents, included Nicholas Huner saying that he wanted to kill his father and “slit his mother’s throat.”
“He then stated that he did not want this son at the house due to ongoing issues with drug use and strange behaviors,” the deputy wrote in the document.
As a result, Nicholas Huner was arrested on suspicion of harassment, and a restraining order was issued preventing him from having contact with his father.
A few weeks later – on Oct. 28 – firefighters were called to a vacation home near Tabernash in Grand County, and arrived to find it engulfed in flame.
The home was owned by Frank Huner, and an SUV driven by Nicholas Huner was discovered in the burned-out garage.
For a time, investigators wondered if he had perished in the fire, which investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation determined was intentionally set, said Grand County sheriff’s Lt. Dan Mayer. The key clue, Mayer said, were two melted gasoline cans, one in the home’s living room, another in the kitchen.
A few days after the fire, Nicholas Huner was arrested after a pursuit in Utah.
But he hadn’t yet been charged in the fire at his father’s second home – something Mayer said was imminent – when he died after being shot Saturday night.