Adams County man accused of killing blackmailing teens formally charged

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — The man accused of killing two teens who he said were blackmailing him appeared in court to hear the formal charges being brought against him on Thursday.

William Otto, 43, showed up to his arraignment hear in a blue paper suit, and extra deputies lined a courtroom that say a heavy increase in security, due to the publicity of the case. 

Adams County Deputy District Attorney Tim McCormick laid out the charges against Otto, which included five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, two counts of first-degree murder and one count of tampering with evidence.

Otto is accused of shooting two male teens on Saturday, after they attempted to blackmail him with cell phone video of Otto touching them inappropriately and asking for sex acts, according to an affidavit.

Otto allegedly told police when the teens, ages 15 and 16, confronted him at his home, he refused to give them $10,000 each in exchange for not reporting his solicitation. One of the boys “grabbed a knife” from his kitchen, the affidavit said, prompting Otto to shoot them both with a .22-caliber handgun, he said.

“(Otto) fired his gun he believed four times,” the affidavit reads. “The second boy called out for his mother and fell limp.”

Otto then wrapped their bodies in carpet and buried them south of Highway 138 near Cottonwood Creek on Colorado’s eastern plains, according to the affidavit.

The victims reportedly told a friend about their plans to blackmail Otto, who was known for letting neighborhood teens hang around his home and drink beer, the affidavit states. The friend got nervous when the two victims disappeared over the weekend. Later, the friend told police, he saw Otto leaving home with a brand new gas can, a shovel and a rake.

The boys’ friend described Otto’s demeanor as “kind of scary.”

Eventually, Otto allegedly confessed to a co-worker at Harlan Bakeries. The co-worker drove him to a police station, where he spoke to detectives and eventually helped them locate the teens’ bodies.

“William Otto supplied detectives with directions to locate where he had buried the bodies,” a police press release said.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the area Otto told them about and found a burial site.

“Detectives exhumed two male bodies from the location, where Adams County Coroner’s Office personnel took possession of the bodies,” investigators said.