COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A teenager charged with killing a Fort Carson soldier and his pregnant wife as he burglarized the newlyweds' Colorado Springs home is trying to get his case moved to juvenile court.
Macyo January, 18, is charged as an adult in the Jan. 14 slayings of Staff Sgt. David Dunlap and his wife, Whitney Butler, who was three months pregnant. An autopsy showed Dunlap, 37, died of a gunshot to the back of the neck. Butler, 35, was shot in the head.
Dunlap was attached to the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Carson. He joined the Army in 2003 and served in Iraq in 2007 and 2008.
January's attorneys told a judge Tuesday they want the case transferred to juvenile court because January was 17 at the time of the slayings, The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported (http://tinyurl.com/lew3zlb).
January faces multiple counts of first-degree murder. The maximum juvenile sentence is seven years in prison, said Liz McDonough, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Human Services, though judges have ordered young offenders to serve a sentence in juvenile prison and a consecutive sentence in adult prison.
El Paso County District Judge Deborah Grohs was expected to rule on the request later this week.
Police officers testified Tuesday that the couple's burglar alarm was tripped and their home security provider left voicemail messages for Butler and Dunlap. Dunlap sent a message to his wife that he was going home to check the report, and Butler arrived shortly thereafter, officers testified. Their bodies were found in a front room of the home.
Surveillance footage from a nearby store shows Butler's car rolling out of the driveway and into the street, apparently occupied by the intruder, who fled after it failed to start.
January was arrested three days later. He is being held without bond at El Paso County jail.
Prosecutors also announced that January has been charged with other burglaries in Colorado Springs, including a case in which an elderly woman was beaten and robbed by an intruder in 2012 — and beaten and robbed again weeks later.
A 19-year-old Colorado Springs man who tried to hide the murder suspect was sentenced Sept. 3 to three years in a youth corrections program. The man, Jerel Couch, pleaded guilty to accessory to burglary.
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com