September 3rd, 2014

Teens use baseball bat and golf club to beat mentally disabled man to death for his Xbox

Crime WorldBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Aaron Tuneberg
Aaron Tuneberg

Two teens in the US have been charged with murder after they allegedly beat a mentally disabled man to death, with a baseball bat and a golf club, so they could steal his Xbox.

Colorado teens Austin Holford and Luke Pelham appeared in court on Monday, charged with the fatal assault on 30-year-old Aaron Tuneberg.

Mr Tuneberg died yesterday and the charges against the pair, both aged 18, were changed to murder.

Police claim the men beat the 30-year-old victim unconscious during the robbery of his Xbox at his home on March 31.

Austin Holford and Luke Pelham

The victim’s family gave a statement saying that Aaron was “vulnerable, innocent and unable to discern danger'.”

They added: “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.”

The defendants originally claimed that Holford hit the victim with a baseball bat while his accomplice Pelham stood watch with a golf club.

Forensic experts have since refuted this story, stating that evidence shows that the disabled man was also beaten with the golf club.

According to their arrest affidavit, Pelham said Holford wanted to carry out the robbery to get money so they could leave Boulder.

The two are now charged with first-degree murder and second degree murder with a deadly weapon.

Pelham’s bond was set at $100,000 while Holford, who has a juvenile conviction for assault, was set at half a million dollars.

Pelham's said that his client suffers from Klinefelter syndrome, leaving him with the mental capacity of a young boy so jail would be incredibly damaging.

He went on to claim that his client's condition would have also made him easy to exploit and that his client eventually called the police to Mr Tuneberg's apartment.

The lawyer said that his Pelham was convinced to take part after Holford told him that Mr Tuneberg had assaulted his girlfriend.

The pair were arrested a short time after the robbery sleeping in a van a few streets away.