Suspect in South Jeffco murder case pleads guilty

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By AJ Vicens

A suspect in the April 2007 murder of Dylan Newman pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to second-degree murder, aggravated robbery and a violent crime count.

Jeffrey S. Depault, 21, faces a mandatory prison sentence of at least 26 years but could be sentenced to as many as 48 years for his role in the April 3, 2007, shooting death of Newman.

Depault will be sentenced Aug. 22.

Newman, who was 20 at the time of his death, was attempting to buy 3 pounds of marijuana in a South Jeffco home on April 3, 2007, from Depault, Adam Zamora, 21, and Aaron Zamora, 20. Newman was carrying more than $11,000 in cash, and Adam Zamora is accused of trying to rob him at gunpoint. A fight ensued, and Adam Zamora allegedly shot Newman in the neck, according to authorities. Newman died at the scene.

Depault allegedly had arranged the drug deal, and knew Newman and the Zamora brothers from prior marijuana deals. Newman apparently did not know the Zamora brothers.

Eric Rooney, the fourth defendant in the case, pleaded guilty in late 2007. Rooney, a juvenile at the time of the murder, lived in the house where the murder occurred and agreed to do the deal there. Rooney will be sentenced July 24.

As part of the plea deal, Depault has agreed to cooperate fully with the Jeffco DA's office, but that doesn't mean he'll necessarily testify against the Zamora brothers, according to DA spokeswoman Pam Russell. No promises were made to Depault in terms of sentencing, according to the agreement.

The Zamora brothers are scheduled to go on trial together July 8.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for breaking news and updates.