Two 18-year-olds in Boulder, Colorado have been charged with first-degree murder after they beat a mentally handicapped man to death with a baseball bat and a golf club.
The 30-year-old victim, Aaron Tuneberg, was attacked during a robbery last week after the two teens tried to steal his Xbox. The men beat him unconscious, causing serious head injuries. He was taken to the hospital but died from the injuries he sustained on Tuesday.
Now, both Austin Holford and Luke Pelham are both charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. Prior to Tuneberg’s death, they had been charged with attempted murder, assault on an at-risk victim, burglary, and aggravated robbery.
The men face life in prison for the first-degree murder charges and up to 48 years in prison for the rest of the charges.
Tuneberg’s family released a statement saying that the 30-year-old was “vulnerable, innocent, and unable to discern danger. Our family is devastated by this senseless tragedy. We want you to know that at the heart of this is a wonderful man named Aaron, who is a beloved son, brother and uncle.”
His friends say his disability didn’t get in the way of his passions, including cars. Tuneberg’s friend Abraham Paetow says “We just started talking and both found out we like low riders and old cars. We would go to car shows all the time.”
Paetow’s wife adds that they spent a lot of time with Tuneberg in Boulder. “We went there and hung out with him quite a bit,” she said. “He and my husband love low riders and muscle cars, so they would ride bikes and go see ‘Fast and the Furious.’ He was a very sweet, very polite man. He was always sweet to us girls, pulling out chairs and opening doors for us.”