DENVER - Three men accused of killing five people inside a Denver bar in October 2012 left the bar with $170, according to a Denver homicide detective who testified on Friday during a preliminary hearing for the three defendants.
Det. Mark Crider testified that his department relied heavily on an ATF informant as they built their case against Dexter Lewis, Lynell Hill and Joseph Hill.
Prosecutors have charged all three with multiple counts of first-degree murder stemming from the incident at Fero's Bar and Grill near Alameda and South Colorado boulevards.
The ATF informant, according to Crider, was present at Fero's Bar at the time of the robbery and subsequent murders. All five victims were stabbed and eventually found in the charred remains of the bar. The informant approached ATF agents in Denver later on in the day to try to turn in the other three.
Killed in the attack were Young Suk Fero's, 63; Daria Pohl, 21; Kelly Fallon, 44; Ross Richter, 29 and Tereasa Beesley, 45. Crider says investigators believe parts of the bar were doused with gasoline in order to hide the evidence. The bar was on fire when a Glendale Police officer initially responded to the scene after seeing smoke coming from the building.
Crider says Joseph Hill admitted to him that he and his brother entered the bar wearing masks after Dexter Lewis, who was inside at the time sent them a text message telling them it was good to come in. The informant told investigators that he ran out of the bar shortly after seeing Lewis stab a number of people repeatedly.
Friday's court hearing was marked by heavy security and a crowded courtroom. All three defendants have their own attorneys. There were nine defense attorneys present at the hearing.
Crider recounted a gruesome scene when he first responded to Fero's Bar. The five bodies were on the sidewalk in front of the bar. He said they were each brought out by fire crews who had worked the fire.
"You could smell smoke coming from them," Crider said.
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