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Affidavit: Fatal Aurora hit-and-run suspect tried to kill himself upon arrest

AURORA, Colo. -- The man accused of running over and killing a woman in Aurora on Monday said he tried to kill himself upon being arrested, according to an affidavit obtained Wednesday.

Henry Wardwell Jr., 48, faces six charges, including vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

The Aurora Police Department said he backed his pickup truck while towing a camping trailer into a sedan near East Mississippi Avenue and South Chambers Road about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Wardwell left the scene, going southbound on Chambers Road. The sedan followed the truck.

Inside the sedan was Julie Powell-Brown, her husband and another female passenger.

Police said Wardwell turned west onto East Mexico Avenue and pulled over several hundred feet later.

Powell-Brown and her husband approached Wardwell about the accident. According to the affidavit, Powell-Brown's husband was yelling at Wardwell.

Wardwell then turned his steering wheel and accelerated, making a U-turn. Powell-Brown and her husband were still near the driver's side of the vehicle.

Powell-Brown was struck by the front-left side of the trailer and pulled underneath. She was trapped under the trailer for several blocks before becoming dislodged.

Powell-Brown was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m.

Several people called 911 and followed the truck and trailer. With the help of a witness, an officer spoke on the phone with a woman who was following Wardwell.

The officer was then able to locate the vehicle and pull over Wardwell. The suspect immediately got out of his truck and the officer told him to get back inside.

Wardwell ignored the commands and walked around the front of the truck to the passenger side, according to the affidavit.

The officer pointed his gun at Wardwell and demanded him to stop. Wardwell again ignored commands and got into the trailer.

Julie Powell-Brown. Source: Family

Wardwell emerged a short time later with a bottle of soda and an orange prescription bottle.

He then swallowed all of the pills in the bottle and drank the soda before finally going to the ground as ordered, according to the affidavit.

The officer placed Wardwell in handcuffs. Wardwell told the officer he had just swallowed 60 Trazedone sleeping pills.

Wardwell also told the officer that he was losing his home and his girlfriend. He said he was on probation and admitted to running from a traffic accident.

Wardwell said his life was over and he was trying to kill himself, according to the affidavit.

Wardwell said he was driving without insurance. He has a significant criminal history, including being sentenced on a felony menacing charge in March 2017.

The investigation in to the hit-and-run is ongoing.

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