- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - One of two teens who pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of a developmentally disabled man in Boulder was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison.

Luke Pelham, 19, was sentenced for the March 31, 2014, beating of Aaron Tuneberg, 30, the Daily Camera reported (https://goo.gl/eWxF8T ). Tuneberg died from his injuries a week after the assault.

Pelham pleaded guilty in May to second-degree murder, first-degree assault on an at-risk individual and aggravated robbery.

“Mr. Pelham was a weakling and a coward that day. Ten thousand nine hundred fifty days in jail is 30 years,” District Judge Patrick Butler said. “He can reflect on that lack of courage every day. Day after day, when those heavy metal doors close behind him, he can think about the freedom he lost.

Defense attorneys asked for the 30-year sentence because they said Pelham was manipulated into being a lookout for the other teenager, Austin Holford. They argued Pelham never directly participated in the attack.

Holford has already been sentenced to 56 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Tuneberg suffered serious head injuries when the teens beat him with a baseball bat and a golf club so they could steal his Xbox and bicycle. They say Pelham joined Holford because he was seeking revenge for an earlier fight with Tuneberg.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, Pelham apologized to Tuneberg’s family for not doing more to stop Holford.

“I’m ashamed of myself,” he said. “Looking back, there was so much I could have done differently. … If I could give my life to bring Aaron back, I would in a heartbeat.”


Information from: Daily Camera, https://www.dailycamera.com/

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide