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Adams County

Suspect faces four murder charges in deputy shooting

Dreion Dearing accused of murdering Dep. Heath Gumm as shooting details released

Posted

Dreion Martise Dearing faces four counts of murder for allegedly killing Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm Jan. 24, Judge Patrick Murphy said Jan. 31.

Dearing, 22, was in Adams County District Court to face seven charges in total — four first-degree murder charges, a burglary charge, an assault charge and charge of illegal weapons possession.

Murphy also unsealed the arrest affidavit, complete with the Adams County Sheriffs Office's narrative of what happend that night and a list of witnesses who could be called to testify during Dearing's trial.

District Attorney Dave Young argued to keep the affidavit sealed to keep the witnesses anonymous until trial, but Murphy said the public had a right to know what happened.

Young said each charge of first-degree murder represents a different theory of the events.

“One is felony murder and another is 'after deliberation and with intent,' “ Young said. “And then there are two theories because Deputy Gumm was a police officer. That's why we have four counts of first degree murder.”

Dearing is due back in court at 9 a.m. April 11 for a preliminary hearing. He is being held without bond.

According to the arrest affidavit, Gumm was one of three deputies who responded to an apartment building at 7 p.m. at 8771 Dawson St. in unincorporated Adams County — just south of the Thornton city limits along 88th Avenue — for reports of two males and a female assaulting another female.

Gumm and another Deputy, William Booker, saw a man walking along Edison Street two blocks away and he ran when Gumm tried to talk to him, according to the affidavit.

They chased the man through Edison Street backyards, where the other deputy lost sight of the suspect. Booker said he saw muzzle flashes coming from behind a shed and then saw Gumm return fire. Booker fired too, but his weapon malfunctioned and the suspect — described as a black male in black clothing — got away.

Booker found Gumm face down with at least one bullet wound in his torso. He was taken to Denver Health Hospital and pronounced dead just after 8 p.m.

According to the affidavit, detectives and a police dog pulled Dearing from a treehouse behind a DeSoto Street residence about 8:30 p.m., noting that he matched the description given by Booker and witnesses to the reported assault.

According to the affidavit, Dearing – who lists a Fort Collins address – said he had been drinking with an associate named Devin starting at a liquor store in Littleton. Devin stopped to visit a friend and Dearing said he felt ill and fell asleep in the back of the car but knew Devin was talking to someone.

Dearing said the next thing he remembered is “being drug by a dog and police arresting him,” according to the affidavit. He denied being in the apartment building and assaulting anyone and said he was unfamiliar with the area.

According to the affidavit, police claim they found footprints in the snow matching shoes Dearing was wearing, a .45-caliber gun, a pay stub with Dearing's name on it and beanie hat in the area of the shooting. 

They also found keys to a car belonging to Dearing’s girlfriend and have video of a man wearing the same kind of shoes that Dearing was wearing entering the apartment building where the assault was reported, according to the affidavit.

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