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Man charged with murder in baseball bat attack outside Denver strip club

Ryan Ashland is accused of attacking 4 people with a baseball bat outside PT's Showclub in Denver. One of the victims died.
Credit: Denver Police Department
Ryan Ashland

DENVER — A 41-year-old man who was accused of attacking four people outside a Denver strip club with a baseball bat has been formally charged with numerous counts, including first-degree murder.

Ryan Ashland is accused of attacking the victims at PT's Showclub at 1601 W. Evans Ave. late last month. Three of the four individuals were taken to Denver Health Medical Center with blunt force injuries to their heads and bodies. Wendell Janis died at the hospital, according to police.

One victim remains in the hospital, the Denver District Attorney's Office said Monday.

Ashland is charged with the following:

  • Two counts first-degree murder ( based on two different theories)
  • Two counts attempt to commit murder in the first-degree
  • Two counts of assault in the first-degree
  • One count of assault in the second-degree
  • Four counts of menacing

On April 28, officers arrived at PT's Showclub to find a man, later identified as Ashland, standing in the parking lot armed with a baseball bat, according to a probable cause statement from the Denver Police Department.

Ashland was standing near a “seriously injured victim” who was lying on the ground and in need of medical attention, the statement says. Despite multiple commands to comply with his arrest, police said Ashland refused to listen to officers.

“Due to the suspect being armed with a weapon, his close proximity to the injured victim, and his refusal to comply with police officers, the suspect was subsequently taken into custody by the use of a Taser,” the release says. 

According to the probable cause statement, the suspect struck one female victim in the head, causing her to fall to the ground. She pretended to be unconscious until the suspect stopped hitting her and she “heard his footsteps move away,” the statement reads. 

Another victim, who was able to run to safety after being struck in the head with a baseball bat by the suspect, watched the suspect being taken into custody and returned to speak with officers and seek medical attention, according to the statement.

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