Adam and Aaron Zamora will face a jury together later this year when they go on trial in the slaying of 20-year-old Dylan Newman in a South Jeffco home last April.
The brothers, 21 and 19, respectively, appeared in Jefferson County District Court on Friday to argue that they should be tried separately on charges of felony murder and robbery.
A “confession” letter found in Adam’s custody at the time of his arrest — in which he seems to allude to committing a serious crime and putting himself in a difficult position — would unfairly implicate his brother, one of Aaron’s attorney’s argued. She said the letter — which doesn’t name Aaron or the other two people charged in the case — is not relevant to Aaron’s case and would not be admissible in court if Aaron were to be tried on his own.
She also argued that Adam’s actions when he was arrested would also unfairly prejudice a jury against Aaron. When Aurora police and Jeffco law enforcement officials arrested Adam six days after the slaying, he ran and allegedly assaulted at least one of them. The attorney said that when Aaron was arrested the day after the slaying, he went with officers without incident.
Aaron’s attorneys also said they would present evidence that Aaron had no idea that anyone intended violence that day — that he was just there for a drug deal.
At the time of his death, Newman reportedly was attempting to buy 3 pounds of marijuana with more than $11,000 cash.
District Judge Dennis Hall said the letter would not unfairly prejudice the jury against Aaron with a complete set of jury instructions, and the same would apply to Adam’s actions at the time of his arrest because, “after all, they were Adam’s actions.” Hall also said the competing defenses were not enough to require him to order separate trials.
The brothers will be back in court Jan. 28 for another motions hearing, and will go on trial in July.
Contact AJ Vicens at email@example.com.