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Update: Austin Holford, Luke Pelham face murder charges after beating victim dies

Categories: Colorado Crimes

austin.holford.mug.shot.205x205.jpg
Big photos, videos below.
Update: Last week, we told you about the baseball bat beating of Boulder's Aaron Tuneberg; see our previous coverage below. Now, unfortunately, Tuneberg has died from his injuries. As a result, the charges against Austin Holford, seen here, and Luke Pelham, a pair of eighteen-year-olds previously arrested for the assault, have been upgraded to first-degree murder for what allegedly began as a quest to steal an Xbox.

Pelham, though, is being portrayed as a dupe who was manipulated into taking a passive role in the tragedy.

Tuneberg's family has described Aaron as being developmentally disabled, making him vulnerable to the very kind of situation that eventually took his life.

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Aaron Tuneberg.
Just shy of midnight on March 31, as we've reported, Pelham called police to tell them about the Tuneberg beating.

In an affidavit subsequently obtained by the Boulder Daily Camera, Pelham is quoted as saying that Holford, an acquaintance, talked him into coming along because he said Tuneberg had attacked his girlfriend. However, the real goal was allegedly stealing the Xbox, which Holford is said to have planned to sell in order to obtain money to leave Boulder.

While Holford pummeled Tuneberg with the bat, Pelham told investigators, he stood watch at the bottom of stairs leading to the victim's apartment.

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The stairs outside Aaron Tuneberg's apartment, as seen in 7News coverage.
By the way, Holford reportedly has a history of assaults predating what happened on the 31st.

Over the weekend, we were contacted via e-mail by Pelham's mom, who wrote, "My son Luke did not do this and should not be where he is," adding that more material would be coming out soon. That information includes the assertion that Pelham has the mental capacity of a child and therefore is easy to persuade.

Nonetheless, both Holford and Pelham are currently facing the same charges from the Boulder District Attorney's office: first-degree felony murder and second-degree murder with a deadly weapon.

Whether that will remain the case over the long haul is unknown at this time. But the one, indisputable fact remains Tuneberg's passing yesterday morning. Our sincere condolences to his friends, family and loved ones.

Look below to see mug shots of Pelham and Holford, followed by a 7News report about the latest developments and our previous coverage.

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Luke Pelham.

Austin Holford.

Continue to see our previous coverage about the Aaron Tuneberg attack, including photos and a video.



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17 comments
fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

Since the victim was trusting and friendly, the Xbox probably could have been taken without the ultraviolence. 

Sincere condolences to Tuneberg's family and friends. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Inbred Retards are as Inbred Retards do.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

So Pelham's mommy is trying to justify her kids actions by claiming he isn't smart enough?  Well, I guessing if he has the mental capacity of a child he has the mind of child willing to go along with this beating and death of an innocent man.  Society should be protected from this man with the mind of a child.  

Jared Dangerzone Smith
Jared Dangerzone Smith

So tragic. I knew Aaron in high school and would occasionally run into him around boulder. He was a good person and will be missed. My heart goes out to his family and friends. R.I.P Aaron.

Chad Kautzer
Chad Kautzer

Thanks for not beginning this article with a comment about how we should be surprised that white teen males would murder someone for an Xbox.

SickFreaks
SickFreaks

A million bucks their parents are scumbags as well.

James Stewart
James Stewart

And they reported it happening at 420am....yeah, the police aren't trying to send a BS subliminal message.

xyzabc
xyzabc

Potheads cracking a pothead's......HEAD!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Violent Stoner Punks !!


rejectedbywestword
rejectedbywestword

This looks like a high school kid's tumblog. Who is the mystery person in the first image? I scrolled down and found neither big images of him or his name.

spencershrader24
spencershrader24

@DonkeyHotay you are a dumb ass so shut the fuck up i knew him personally luke is a good guy he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time


Friend
Friend

@whateveryousay  i know Luke personally and he has a second last name which he uses more commonly, which is Destrey. He can be persuaded into doing things, but he certainly is no dummy. He is "different" but not in the way his mom is trying to lead everyone to believe. he knew what his friend was capable of and he knew all to well what was going on because Luke will not put himself in a situation without knowing everything that is supposed to happen, if Luke saw his friend beating this guy, he would have ran away immediately and tried to save his own ass, not stand guard and THEN do that. Believe me, Luke is smart enough to bullshit his way out of anything. He lives to lie.

skbaum1
skbaum1

The beating happened just before midnight and Holford was arrested at 4:20....nothing subliminal intended...yeah, his facebook reveals him to be a big pot head but his drug test at booking came up negative so the cops wouldn't have made that connection. Purely coincidental...

skbaum1
skbaum1

Aaron wasn't a pothead...he is severely developmentally disabled and has the mind of about a 14 year old boy. If these ass-hats had just asked for thr xbox he would have given it to them.

justsaying
justsaying

@Friend @whateveryousay He does live to lie - and to steal.  It's been going on for YEARS.  His mother Terri has ALWAYS made excuses for him - she's a terrible parent who never made Luke face any consequences.  Her boyfriend, Arno, has to lock what is left of his stuff up in his truck because Luke stole everything he could get his hands on.  They left Valencia like dogs in the night because Luke was about to be arrested there - for not showing up to court, and for lying (surprise surprise) to the cops last year claiming he was already 18...ect ect ect...Idiots, him and his mother. 

So sorry for the guy who was killed - so sad.

ToasterNode
ToasterNode

Damn I didn't realize I wasnt alone with this posting lol @justsaying you knew him as well as I did apparently haha

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