AURORA, Colo. — Two men face charges in connection with the hit-and-run death of a man who was walking his dogs in southeast Aurora in August.
Stephen Carter, 22, and Cullin Barnes, 45, were both arrested on suspicion of attempting to influence a public servant. Both are accused of making false statements to investigators during the investigation into the fatal hit-and-run.
>The video above is prior coverage about the deadly crash.
Jason Lyman, a father of three, and his two dogs were killed in the early morning hours of Aug. 5 when they were hit by the driver of a Toyota Sequoia, who left the scene. The SUV sustained severe front-end damage and was left at the scene.
Police got the first call about the crash at 2:42 a.m., according to an arrest affidavit. Barnes, the SUV's owner, called the police to report it stolen later that morning, at 9:26 a.m., according to the affidavit.
At that time, Barnes told police he had parked the SUV on a side street near his home at around 2:30 a.m. When an officer called Barnes later that day, Barnes told the officer the last time he had seen the car was actually around 10:30 p.m., according to the affidavit.
An officer inspected the car and found no evidence that it had been stolen, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, DNA found on the passenger's side airbag matched Barnes' DNA, indicating he was in the vehicle at the time of the crash. However, police said, he denies being the driver.
Police said they found an unknown woman's DNA on the driver's side airbag.
Detectives are still waiting for other forensic evidence to determine who was actually driving at the time of the crash.
According to the affidavit, Carter's number was the first number Barnes called after the time of the crash. Cell phone location data shows Carter's and Barnes' phones eventually ended up near each other, then moved together to Barnes' home.
When police talked to Carter, he said that Barnes' car "was supposedly stolen or something like that" the night of the crash, according to the affidavit. He also said Barnes had arrived home at around 10 p.m. or so, and had called Carter early in the morning "about their Mom's medicine or something like that." Carter told police that he was sure that Carter was at home and had gotten there around 10 p.m.
Carter's next court appearance is set for Nov. 2. Barnes is set to appear in court Nov. 14.
Lyman's wife Karena previously shared a message saying in part, "I don’t know how to do life without the most amazing, loving, caring, thoughtful, kind-hearted, witty, genuine and selfless man I have ever known, but I am so grateful for the wonderful privilege I had of being married to him for over 21 years and together for 26. He has been part of my life longer than he hasn’t and even now, I know that he will ALWAYS be with me and our beautiful children."
In coordination with Metro Denver Crime Stoppers and the Aurora Reward Fund, the reward for information is still at $10,000. Anyone with information is asked to call the tip line at 720-913-7867. They can remain anonymous by using Metro Denver Crime Stoppers and still be eligible for the reward.
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