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Woman pleads guilty in fatal Littleton shooting

Luke Clayton, 28, was shot and killed last July after a confrontation.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A woman who faced a second-degree murder charge in connection with a fatal shooting last summer pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on Tuesday.

Littleton Police (LPD) officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 2700 block of West Riverwalk Circle at 3:20 a.m. July 15 and found Luke Clayton, 28, suffering from gunshot wounds to the chest. He died at the scene.

Later that month, Adam Vilders and Darla Rodriguez were arrested in the case. On Tuesday, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to an accessory charge and as a result, seven other counts, including second-degree murder and assault, were dismissed. She was immediately sentenced to eight years in the Department of Corrections.

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 an arrest affidavit from LPD.

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.

Charges are still pending against Vilders who is due in court next on May 5.  A third co-defendant, Felica Cruz, pleaded guilty in January and was also sentenced to eight in the Department of Corrections.

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