Timothy Shelton was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the 2018 shooting death of Luisa Aguilar, six years longer than the 15-year-old victim got to live. Shelton, 24, admitted firing a shot that …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2019-2020, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
Timothy Shelton was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the 2018 shooting death of Luisa Aguilar, six years longer than the 15-year-old victim got to live.
Shelton, 24, admitted firing a shot that passed through the cheek of Savon Smith, now 20, and into Aguilar's head as Smith and Aguilar slept on a couch at Shelton's house on the 6000 block of South Broadway in Littleton on July 17, 2018.
Shelton pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and a count of second-degree assault in the case. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a charge of first-degree murder, which would have carried a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
Shelton maintains the shooting was an accident. In testimony during a 2018 preliminary hearing, Littleton Police detectives testified that Shelton had been smoking marijuana and drinking heavily in the hours before the shooting.
Dec. 2018: 'Man who killed teen girl was warned to quit playing with gun'
Friends had begged Shelton to quit playing with a loaded handgun, detectives testified, but Shelton persisted, at times goading his dogs to chase the gun's laser sight, and firing bullets through a backyard privacy fence with an occupied house on the other side.
Smith and Aguilar went to bed on the couch in the early hours of July 17, detectives said, and Smith later woke up to find Shelton pointing the gun at him before firing the lethal shot.
Shelton, Smith and others fled the house, leaving Aguilar bleeding on the couch, according to detectives. Another resident of the house found Aguilar and called 911. Aguilar died two days later in a hospital. Smith was left blind in one eye.
At the sentencing hearing, held at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on Sept. 18, Aguilar's mother, Maria Olivas, said she doesn't believe Shelton's explanation that the shooting was an accident.
“He had a gun in his hand,” said Olivas, appearing by videoconference from her new home in Texas. “When a person has a gun in their hand they know what they're going to do with it.”
Olivas, who at times was too emotional to continue, held up an urn containing her daughter's cremated remains.
“See where my daughter is right now? Do you see where she is? Do you think this is fair? All I want is for there to be justice. I know the time in prison he will have will not pay for my daughter's life. There's no way he can pay for my daughter's life.”
Olivas' sister Claudia Olivas said Maria has been devastated since Aguilar's death, and has endured long periods of being unable to work. Maria is now in therapy and receiving medication, according to Claudia.
Claudia said the family has been crushed since Aguilar died. Aguilar never got to meet her now 18-month-old little sister, Claudia said.
Shelton's brother Jacob spoke on behalf of his brother, telling Olivas he was sorry for Aguilar's death.
“There is nothing that my family can say or do to bring back your daughter,” Jacob said. “I've been asking God for the words to say to you guys. The only thing I can is my deepest condolences. He's not a horrible person, even though he made a series of bad choices. We're plagued with generational curses as far as alcohol and drugs go. I was trying to steer us away from that, but it was too late.”
Timothy Shelton told the court he is remorseful.
“No matter what I say, I can't bring her back, and I'm sorry for that,” Shelton said. “I'd do anything to switch places with her and bring her back. I'm sorry.”
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.