Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Men accused in back-to-back Colorado Springs shootings try to blame each other

February 27, 2018 Updated: February 28, 2018 at 3:46 pm
0
Caption +
Haywood Eugene Miller, left, and Richard Allon Spanks. Photos courtesy Colorado Springs Police Department.

More than a year after three people were gunned down in back-to-back shootings in southeast Colorado Springs, two men accused in the crimes are scrambling to pin the blame on each other.

As their joint trial got under way in 4th Judicial District Court, attorneys for Richard Allon Spanks on Tuesday identified the killer as Spanks' co-defendant, Haywood Eugene Miller, saying he acted without warning their client.

Miller's legal team mostly returned the favor, but with a twist - saying Spanks killed two of the three victims "in a hail of gunfire" and forced Miller into a position where he had to kill the third person in self-defense.

"The worst decision Haywood Miller made was hanging out with Mr. Spanks," public defender Chad Miller said as the cross-allegations flew.

Both men are charged with first-degree murder in each death, and prosecutors asked the jury to hold them both responsible. The trial is expected to last up to eight weeks - slowed in part by having two legal teams confront each witness.

The shootings occurred Nov. 26 and Nov. 29, 2016, and prosecutors say the evidence proves that Spanks and Miller were on hand for each.

The first involved a botched drug deal at an apartment in the 2000 block of Carmel Drive that killed a bystander, Marcus Williams, 21, and left a local black market pot dealer, Eric Stone, blind in one eye and partially paralyzed.

Authorities say the violence erupted when Spanks, 26, tried to run out of Stone's apartment without paying for marijuana. When Stone got to the door first and blocked his passage, authorities say Miller, also 26, drew a pistol from his waistband and shot Stone and Williams.

Miller's attorneys say Stone was known to carry a knife, and that their client feared for his life when he shot Stone and Williams. Miller's attorneys say Williams stood up in a way that Miller perceived to be threatening.

Three days later, authorities say, a second double-shooting killed Victoria Loftis, 23, and Jacqueline Cline, 33, at a house in the 3500 block of Mosswood Lane. Prosecutors did not specify a motive but said an eyewitness will testify that Miller and Spanks were standing side by side as bullets flew into a bedroom where the women's bodies later were found riddled by bullets. Prosecutors say the men left the house after the first volley of gunfire and returned to fire more shots into the women.

One of Spanks' attorneys, David Lipka, said Miller was solely responsible for that attack, and the eyewitness implicated his client out of loyalty to Miller.

Prosecutors disclosed that a third person - as yet unidentified - was with Miller and Spanks during the Mosswood Lane shootings.

Trial testimony is expected to resume Wednesday.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.