Update: Austin Holford, Luke Pelham face murder charges after beating victim dies
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.
Big photos, videos below.
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.
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.
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.
Continue to see our previous coverage about the Aaron Tuneberg attack, including photos and a video.