Man acquitted of murder in killing stemming from brawl at July 4th party

By: lisa walton lisa.walton@gazette.com
May 5, 2014 Updated: May 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm
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A 22-year-old accused of fatally shooting a man to death during a brawl at a Fourth of July house party in Colorado Springs last year on Monday was acquitted of first-degree murder.

Damian Evans was facing life in prison in the slaying of 20-year-old Christopher Vazquez, who was found by Colorado Springs police on the 4500 block of Jetwing Circle, near Fountain Boulevard, just after 2 a.m. on July 5.

Vazquez was rushed to the hospital, where he died from gunshot wounds, Colorado Springs police said. He was shot five times, according to a coroner's report shown to the jury during opening statements on April 23.

The bullets found in the Vazquez's body were found to be a match to a gun Evans allegedly had in his possession during the party, according to the prosecution.

Evans' defense attorney argued the gun had been dropped by another person during the brawl and the defendant had grabbed it and fired it in self-defense.

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