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Probable cause found in murder of D’Evelyn grad

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By Deborah Swearingen

A Jefferson County judge found probable cause to move forward with cases against all three suspects in the April murder of a 27-year-old D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School graduate.

Devon Howard, 20, Caleb Vigil, 19, and Alicia Valdez, 20, were arrested in connection with the murder of Andrew Jenicek. The latter two were arrested April 7, two days after Jenicek was killed in Edgewater. Howard was arrested three days after in a collaborative effort by the Edgewater Police Department, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force.

Although a number of charges were dropped, all three suspects face a variety of felony charges, included first-degree murder, felony murder and aggravated robbery.

“They all still have pretty significant charges pending against them,” said Pam Russell, spokeswoman with Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

They return to court for a Dec. 5 arraignment where each must enter a plea.

Last week’s hearing was heard by Judge Philip McNulty. It was initially scheduled to be with another judge but had to be moved due a trial that went longer than expected.

According to testimony in Friday’s preliminary hearing, Vigil is accused of pulling the trigger after reportedly attempting to rob Jenicek as he walked into Billy Sims Barbecue, a restaurant in the 2000 block of Sheridan Boulevard in Edgewater.

After leaving the scene of this incident, the suspects are accused of participating in a drive-by shooting in Arvada, where Howard allegedly fired the gun. Later that night, they reportedly robbed a mobile phone store. The group was traveling in a silver Mitsubishi registered to Valdez. A BOLO or “be on the lookout” for the car was issued by the Denver Police Department, according to the information from the prosecution.

In body camera footage from the Denver Police Department, which was shown in last week’s hearing, Vigil can be heard admitting he has a gun and saying the gun belongs to him. Both Vigil and Howard appear to be cooperating with law enforcement in the footage. Additionally, the prosecution presented evidence in court from a roommate who reportedly heard at least one of the suspects brag about purchasing the gun and discuss plans of “using it to make money” prior to the April 5 incident.

Each suspect is charged separately and has their own legal team, but the cases are tracking together at this point. Because of this, Vigil, Howard and Valdez all appeared in court together and will continue to do so. All cases were bound over to the district court for arraignment, according to Russell.

Raising funds for family

Jenicek was living in Lakewood at the time of his death but grew up in Littleton. He graduated from D’Evelyn in 2008, according to his MaxPreps profile. He was active in sports and played varsity football for the school. In 2008, he signed a letter of intent to play football for the University of Sioux Falls.

After his death, a memorial fund organized through GoFundMe raised nearly $15,000 for Jenicek’s family. Furthermore, a charity golf tournament held at Raccoon Creek Golf Course in South Jeffco two months ago raised money for a scholarship in Jenicek’s honor at D’Evelyn.

Prior to his death, Jenicek worked at the Colorado Department of Revenue for five years. The department had been planning the golf tournament as a team-building event but decided to host it in Jenicek’s honor after he was killed.