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Parole sponsor killed man over drug money in Littleton, affidavit says

A total of three people have been arrested in connection with the killing of 28-year-old Luke Clayton on July 15.

LITTLETON, Colo. — An altercation between a man and woman over drug money resulted in her parole sponsor shooting and killing the man in Littleton earlier this month, according to an arrest affidavit.

Adam Vilders, 37,  and Darla Rodriguez, 29, were arrested on July 22 in connection with the death of 28-year-old Luke Clayton, the Littleton Police Department (LPD) said Tuesday. In addition, 34-year-old Felica Cruz was also arrested in connection to his death on July 27.

LPD initially responded to a call of shots fired in the 2700 block of West Riverwalk Circle at 3:20 a.m. July 15. Officers found Clayton suffering from gunshot wounds to the chest.

PREVIOUS: Man killed in Littleton shooting identified

Despite life-saving efforts, Clayton was pronounced dead at the scene. The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office ruled his death a homicide and said he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Investigators learned Clayton was in his apartment with three friends when he received a call at 2:04 a.m. and said he would be right out, according to the affidavit.

When Clayton returned, he had blood coming from his mouth and told his friends he was jumped by two women who tased and punched him, and said he punched one of them, the affidavit says. A preliminary autopsy showed Clayton had an injury consistent with a stun gun-type device.

Before 2:50 a.m., Clayton and his friends heard a loud boom outside, which they thought was someone "messing" with Clayton's truck, according to the affidavit. Investigators later discovered that his tire had been slashed.

Clayton ran to the front door and a man later identified as Vilders tried to punch him as he opened it, the affidavit says. They fought in front of the home until Clayton ended up on top of the man on the ground.

One of Clayton's friends noticed a gun on the ground, which Vilders and Clayton fought over, and Vilders eventually came away with it and shot Clayton twice in the back, according to the affidavit.

After shooting Clayton, Vilders pointed the gun at him again and said "that's what he gets for hitting a woman," the affidavit says. 

Vilders then pointed the gun at one of Clayton's friends, who ran away, and Vilders and two women with him left the area in a white Cadillac, according to the affidavit.

Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
Darla Rodriguez and Adam Vilders

Investigators examined Clayton's phone and identified the call that got him outside the first time came from Rodriguez's phone, the affidavit says. They also learned she was connected to the Cadillac, which was registered to Vilders.

Investigators then discovered that Rodriguez was on parole, and she lived with Vilders, who was her sponsor, the affidavit says. 

On July 22, officers surveilled a home in the 2600 block of South Irving Street, where Rodriguez's phone was electronically located, and they saw her and Vilders getting into a car and leaving the home, the affidavit says.

Vilders drove over a lawn and evaded officers when they tried to stop him, and they learned later that they abandoned the car after escaping and were in a truck with another man, according to the affidavit.

Officers located the truck a few hours later, took Vilders and Rodiguez into custody, and also arrested the driver on outstanding warrants.

Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
Felicia Cruz

Rodriguez told investigators she had been in a fight with Clayton because he owed her money for drugs, the affidavit says. After the fight, Rodriguez said she and Cruz went to get Vilders, and said he shot Clayton twice when they returned, according to the affidavit.

Vilders told investigators Rodriguez and Cruz came to get him and he could see Rodriguez had been in a fight, the affidavit says. Vilders said he drove Rodriguez and Cruz back to Clayton's home and brought his Taurus 9mm pistol he purchased two years prior.

Vilders said he knocked on Clayton's door, but no one answered, so he cut a tire on Clayton's truck to get him to come outside, the affidavit says. He said Clayton then came to the door, punched him and they ended up fighting for the gun on the ground, the document says.

Vilders said he was able to get the gun, shot Clayton twice and left the scene with Rodriguez and Cruz, according to the affidavit.

Vilders, Rodriguez and Cruz each face charges of second-degree murder in the case. They're due in court for the filing of formal charges on Thursday.

It's unclear whether the suspects knew the victim. Anyone with information in regards to the shooting can call LPD at 303-794-1551.

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