Suspect accused of plan to murder
A man originally charged as an accessory to the slaying of a man last month on Orchard Mesa is now accused of murder.
Aaron Ungles, 26, 180 Edlun Road, was arrested late Wednesday on a Mesa County Sheriff’s Department warrant on suspicion of first-degree murder after deliberation, felony murder, aggravated robbery and a sentence-enhancing charge for use of a weapon in a violent crime.
“What’s the minimum (penalty)?” Ungles asked County Judge Bruce Raaum during a first court appearance Thursday, inquiring about first-degree murder.
Raaum explained that’s life without parole in prison.
The warrant in Ungles’ case is sealed. He’s being held at the Mesa County Jail on $150,000 bond.
Ungles had been free on bond, charged with six counts of identity theft in connection with the death of 38-year-old Rigoberto Luna, who was allegedly choked to death with a lug wrench and his body dumped under a tree on dead-end path off 29 3/4 Road. The body was discovered by a passerby Oct. 22.
Luna’s Jeep was stolen, his pants were stripped and his debit card was stolen.
Ungles, early on in the investigation, implicated a local couple, Nathan Dennis and Sadie Camis, both 28, as the sole participants in the killing. Dennis and Camis are both charged with murder, among other counts.
Ungles originally told investigators that Dennis explained he needed to “get rid of” Luna just after midnight Oct. 21, according to the affidavit.
Camis and Dennis smoked marijuana and used methamphetamine before seeking a ride from Luna, the affidavit said.
“(Aaron) stated that Sadie was involved in the plan and said she would give a signal and then Nathan and Aaron were to jump the man,” the affidavit said. “Aaron thought Nathan may have been angry with the man because the man had been flirting with and touching Sadie.”
Ungles said he was sitting behind Camis, who was driving Luna’s Jeep Cherokee as Luna was sitting in the front passenger seat around the time of the assault. Dennis was sitting behind Luna. A fifth occupant, Lindsay Peters, Ungles’ girlfriend, sat in the middle half of the back seat.
Ungles’ statement continued: “Nathan waited for Sadie’s signal, but she never gave a signal. Nathan finally decided not to wait any longer for the signal, grabbed a star or box-style lug wrench, put it in front of (Luna’s) neck and started to strangle him from behind, using the wrench on the male’s neck,” the affidavit said.
Peters insisted she tried to make Dennis stop, “but Aaron grabbed her and told her to stop and that they did not want to be involved,” the affidavit said.
Ungles also originally claimed he’d used Luna’s debit card and made several ATM withdrawals, but insisted he gave all the money to Dennis.
Martha Kent, Ungles’ attorney, told the judge Thursday Ungles has expressed interest in starting mental-health treatment.