A gang member who shot an Aurora man who was out walking his dogs was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Mikal Newton, 20, of Denver, was sentenced Nov. 5 in Arapahoe County District Court for shooting the 44-year-old man at the Sable Landing Condominiums in Aurora. Newton pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault with serious bodily injury, a Class 3 felony. Other counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
“Senseless, violent crimes like this terrorize neighborhoods and communities; they are one of the reasons I felt it was important to have an Organized Crime Unit in my office,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “To the victims, these are random acts of violence. My unit sees the bigger picture and the inter-connectedness that exists. We want to identify the bad actors who commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes and get them off the streets.”
Early in 2019, a gang member killed a member of rival gang in Denver. Gang affiliates of the dead man vowed revenge.
On Oct. 22, 2019, the victim took his two dogs out for a walk. A car pulled up and one of the occupants yelled something referencing one of the gangs. The victim ignored the remark and continued walking. When the man was unlocking the door to go back inside, someone asked for his phone number. The man turned and saw one of the occupants of the car, pointing a gun at him. The man was shot several times but survived.
Aurora detectives worked to identify the car the men were in, and they gathered information from the spent shell casings. That led them to Newton. He still had the gun that matched the casings at the Aurora scene. The gun was traced to two additional crimes in Denver.
“The victim in this case was simply a man in his own community out walking his dogs. The defendant in this case mistook him for a rival gang member and then very coldly, with no provocation or hesitation, shot and nearly killed him,” said Deputy District Attorney Tony Tarantino, the prosecutor from the Organized Crime Unit who handled the case. “Those who commit violent crimes in this jurisdiction — be it for profit, retaliation, or any other reason – need to know that they will be pursued, they will be caught, and they will be incarcerated.”