Eric Cristopher Gurule, 27, of Leadville was arrested Sept. 4 on murder charges stemming from an altercation which led to the death of Randy Flores, 55, of Leadville.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) deputies arrived at 1734 U.S. 24 on a 911 call about a bleeding and unresponsive male, later to be identified as Flores, on the morning of Sept. 3. Upon arrival, LCSO deputies found the inside of the residence disheveled, with toppled and damaged furniture indicating a struggle had taken place, according to an arrest affidavit filed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The 911 call was placed after Flores failed to appear at a morning meeting for his company, Pro-Electric, and coworkers could not contact him. Based on his statements to CBI investigators, Gurule, an employee at Flores’ company, had texted that he wouldn’t be into work.
According to the affidavit, a coworker went to Flores’ residence, where they found a door ajar, and grew worried after seeing the condition of the home’s interior. Once the coworker found Flores and failed to wake him, they placed the 911 call.
LCSO deputies found Flores in the bathroom, where first responders attempted to address his injures. After evaluating his condition and noting signs of rigor mortis having set in, Flores was declared dead at 8:19 a.m.
The cause of death, based on an autopsy completed by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office, was determined to be blunt force craniocerebral injuries, and elements of strangulation cannot be ruled out, the affidavit said.
Following LCSO’s initial response, the CBI and investigators from the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office were requested on the scene to begin an investigation. LCSO turned the investigation over to CBI, which remains the lead agency in the investigation.
After speaking with others present at Flores’ home on Sept. 2 for a gathering when the conflict is alleged to have happened, CBI agents brought Gurule to the Leadville Police Department for questioning.
Gurule, who claimed to be very intoxicated during the previous night’s gathering, remembered getting into an argument with coworkers at Flores’ home, but said the altercation never turned physical, according to the affidavit. Gurule, an employee at Flores’ company Pro-Electric,
told the CBI agents who questioned him that he blacked out after a verbal confrontation and did not remember the rest of the night. The redacted arrest affidavit indicates that the confrontation was not directly between Gurule and Flores. A CBI investigator observed injures on Gurule, including bruising and swelling.
After the initial questioning, Gurule submitted to a polygraph test. The CBI agent who administered the test determined Gurule was being truthful in his accounts of the conflict.
Citing the evidence gathered, as well as a past violent altercation in which Gurule was accused of head-butting two patrons in a bar in Commerce City resulting in a misdemeanor conviction for disorderly fighting in public, the CBI filed for an arrest warrant.
Gurule was taken into custody on charges of first degree murder, a class one felony, and second degree murder, a class two felony, on Sept. 5. He is currently being held on $500,000 bond after an initial court appearance Sept. 9.
Gurule is scheduled to appear in court again Sept. 25.