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Texas trio charged with first-degree murder in Lightner Creek shooting

Marijuana robbery appears to be motive in shooting

A shooting death that occurred last month in a mobile home park three miles west of Durango was part of a marijuana robbery, according to charging documents made public Friday.

Three suspects – Kevin Goff, 27, Michael Jones, 19, and Alysse Rios, 19 – were formally charged Friday with first-degree murder, which is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.

All three waived formal reading of the charges and possible penalties, meaning their attorneys advised them of both. In addition to murder, all three are charged with felony robbery, menacing and tampering with physical evidence. Jones also is charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon.

The Texas trio is suspected of robbing and shooting David Gaytan, 34, of Durango, on May 14 in the Lightner Creek Mobile Home Park, 907 Lightner Creek Road (County Road 207). A handgun was used in the shooting, according to charging documents.

Arrest affidavits, which typically provide brief narratives in support of “probable cause” for making an arrest, remain under seal and unavailable for public inspection in all three cases. The Durango Herald made a formal request Friday asking Judge William Herringer to unseal the documents.

Gaytan’s death marks the third shooting death involving marijuana during the past three years in La Plata County. Other shooting deaths include one on March 16, 2015, at the Iron Horse Inn, and another on May 24, 2016, in the SkyRidge subdivision.

Another half dozen armed robberies have occurred during that time, with marijuana being the thing of value.

District Attorney Christian Champagne said it is becoming harder to chalk up the incidents to coincidence. Colorado voters have clearly stated they are in favor of legalized marijuana, he said, which makes the state a target for people with nefarious intent from other states.

“It’s a problem; I don’t know what the solution is,” Champagne said. “I think it’s important that we send a message that we’re taking it very seriously, and people who come from other states to commit crimes in our community are going to be dealt with very seriously, and that’s how we’re approaching it.”

shane@durangoherald.com

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