Curtis Ashley Murder: Where Are Derek Peters and Glen Sapp Now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: Tighten the Screws’ follows the murder of 28-year-old Curtis Ashley inside an apartment in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in May 1991. He was killed in the early morning while sleeping at his friend’s place. The police located the perpetrators based on evidence left behind at the crime scene and tips supplied by the victim’s friend.

How Did Curtis Ashley Die?

Curtis Duane Ashley was born to Sherman Ashley on September 16, 1962. He was described as a kind soul with a good heart. Local news reporter Sandra Mann said, “He had just gotten out of the service and was getting ready to start his civilian life.” Curtis’ friends and family recounted him as generally a good person. After a bitter breakup with his former girlfriend, Hannah Tracey, the 28-year-old had been crashing at one of his friend’s places on the 2500 block of East Uintah Street in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in May 1991.

According to the episode, John Carson, an EMT, was sleeping when someone desperately banged on his door at around 1:30 AM on May 31, 1991. He opened it to find it was his neighboring couple, William Parks and his common-law wife, Sheila. They claimed their house guest, Curtis, was lying on the floor covered with blood. John tried to revive the victim and instructed William to call 911. Unfortunately, Curtis succumbed to his injury by the time the medical respondents took him to the hospital. According to his autopsy report, he had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Who Killed Curtis Ashley?

Detectives surveyed the crime scene to find Curtis had been sleeping on a futon-type sofa by the front door when the perpetrators fired the shot. A large amount of blood soaked through the cushion, and the high-velocity blood spatter indicated a gun was the murder weapon. They also discovered bone fragments indicating an exit wound even if the body was not there. Hence, the police began looking for the bullet until they found a hole in the drywall by the sofa formed by the base of a slug lodged in a stud inside.

Derek Peters

Furthermore, the authorities found a .380 semiautomatic pistol at the base of the sofa, which they initially thought to be the murder weapon. As the CSI worked to retrieve the lodged bullet slug in the wall, the homicide detectives interviewed Curtis’ roommates, William and Sheila. They told the investigators they were helping their friend by letting him stay with them after his fallout with his girlfriend. The couple claimed they heard a gunshot around 1:00 AM, followed by Curtis leaning against their doorframe and pleading for help.

William and Sheila switched on the lights to find that Curtis had stumbled back into the living room and crashed face down on the floor. However, they both had different versions of how the event happened. William believed Curtis might have accidentally shot himself while sleeping with his gun, but Sheila thought he took his life because he was severely depressed. But the accident or suicide theories were rejected when the CSI found the victim had been shot with a .45-caliber gun and not the pistol retrieved from the crime scene.

The police conducted a gunshot residue test to rule out the couple and interviewed neighbors of the big apartment complex. They found a witness named Dale Drummond, who told the officers he saw two individuals scaling the 6-foot fence in the backyard after firing the shot. The investigators looked there to find a packet of cigarettes and a broken wristwatch band. These items might have been left behind by the perpetrators hurrying to escape from the scene.

The police got a breakthrough when one of Curtis’ friends, Gary Cobalt, dropped in at the station with some information. He alleged he had heard the 28-year-old’s former girlfriend, Hannah Tracey, had a contract in place to shoot him. Gary also claimed it was why a terrified Curtis started sleeping with a gun. According to him, Hannah was infamous for being friends with violent gang members. Eventually, the officers interviewed her to learn a startling fact — Curtis allegedly sold and used drugs.

Glen Sapp

Hannah said having a contract in place was a rumor to keep herself safe from miscreants who dropped in and claimed Curtis owed them money. Moreover, the officers learned one of those people was Glen Sapp, an ex-convict who had served prison time for first-degree assault. They corroborated with the Narcotics Department to gather enough evidence for a search warrant. When a SWAT team broke into Glen’s apartment, they found another individual named Derek Peters and his wife there along with him.

Derek Peters and Glen Sapp Are Leading Quiet Lives Post-Prison

Derek and Glen were arrested for possessing half a kilogram of cocaine and brought to the station for questioning. While the latter refused to cooperate, his accomplice broke down when the police linked him to the broken watch band found in the backyard of Curtis’ apartment. While searching the residence, the police found Derek’s watch with a broken band. In addition, they noted that the two alleged killers smoked the same brand of cigarette found at the crime scene.

When threatened with a lengthy prison term, Derek confessed to the murder. According to him, Curtis had owed Glen money for months and kept making excuses not to pay back each time. However, the latter had lost his cool when he discovered the victim had been planning on reuniting with his former girlfriend, Hannah. Glen always had a soft spot for her, and the two went over to Curtis’ apartment to get the money and scare him. They found the door open and crept inside to see him aiming a gun at them.

According to the show, Derek and Glen did not plan on killing Curtis but shot him in panic when the victim pointed a gun at them. Derek was sentenced to 4 years, and Glenn pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Their names are not on the latest state prison roster, so they presumably lead quiet lives after serving their sentences in Colorado.

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