arrest

Kyle Watts.

A former Air Force airman will serve 18 years in prison for his role in a 2018 drug robbery that ended in a deadly shootout in Security-Widefield, a 4th Judicial District judge has ruled.

Kyle Watts had pleaded guilty in May to aggravated robbery related to the Oct. 7, 2018, death of Kenyatta Horne, 20. Horne was hit with a blast of birdshot when he was ambushed by a crew of robbers during what was supposed to be a cocaine deal.

Horne’s mother, who was present for the Monday sentencing hearing, was disappointed with the length of the prison time Watts was dealt.

“Today was a little rough because he didn’t get the maximum we were asking for,” his mother told KKTV. “I understand how plea deals work, and his testimony, although to be a little skimpy, was crucial in getting the shooters that fired the rounds that killed my son.”

Watts, who drove the getaway car but did not fire shots, said at the hearing that he was ready to become a better man and apologized for his actions, KKTV reports.

This month, former Fort Carson solider Tyler Lee Wheeler was given a life sentence for his role in the murder. Wheeler, 21, and several accomplices arranged to purchase $700 worth of cocaine from Horne, planning to rob him instead outside his parents’ home in the 6400 block of Tranters Creek Way in the Lorson Ranch subdivision. After seeing the men approach with guns out, Horne drew a pistol, leading to a gunbattle.

Wheeler fired more than 20 shotgun shells, authorities said. An autopsy concluded Horne died of a single blast in the chest.

Wayne TC Sellers IV, 22, also a former Fort Carson soldier, fired numerous rounds that missed. He was sentenced in October to a life term for his role in the fatal robbery. Beslim Torres-Valle, 20, who arranged the phony drug deal but did not fire a weapon, was sentenced to 48 years in prison in November. He had grown up in the Lorson Ranch subdivision and knew the victim.

Watts was once based at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne.

The Gazette’s Lance Benzel contributed to the report.

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