Feb 28, 2011 6:37 PM by David Ortiviz

Police say gay encounter may have led to murder

New details are emerging about the murder of a Pueblo man and the suspicious death of a teenager the same day. Police believe the cases are connected--and the murder tied to a secret world of gay sexual encounters.

Pedro Solis-Astorga, 45, was shot and beaten to death, according to an arrest affidavit. The murder happened overnight on February 12, at a park located near Erie and 13th St. on Pueblo's east side. "That's a place for gay men to go cruising," said Sgt. Eric Bravo, with the Pueblo Police Department.

Devin Downey, 19, (pictured on the left) told police he had a sexual encounter with Solis-Astorga once before, but the day of the shooting he claims Solis-Astorga tried to rape him. Downey says that's when his friend William Baros Jr., 18, shot Solis-Astorga with a revolver. Downey told officers he took the weapon and continued firing until "the gun was empty". Downey also allegedly beat the victim in the head with an unknown object.

Pueblo police are still investigating the motive. Sgt. Bravo says one theory is that Downey may have been trying to hide his secret gay life from his friend Baros.

Hours later, Baros is also dead. Kyle Boulier, another friend says they all went at Baros' home, drank some beers, played video games and passed around his handgun. Boulier claims that's when Baros shot himself in the head.

Boulier says he and Downey panicked and drove to the outskirts of town, on Baculite Mesa Rd. and threw the gun into a prairie. Then the men went back to the house and wrapped Baros in a blanket. "They tried to move him. Didn't call for any medical help. They basically let him die," said Sgt. Bravo.

The men eventually told police Baros commited suicide, but detectives aren't sure that's what really happened. "Baros had knowledge of the homicide and possibly these two boys wanted to keep him quiet," said Sgt. Bravo.

Police are trying to sort out the truth. Meanwhile Downey faces a first degree murder charge in the death of Pedro Solis Astorga. He waived his first court appearance.

Boulier was arrested for a parole violation. Both men remain in jail.



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