ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Wednesday was an emotional day in court for the family of a 24-year-old Aurora man who was killed last week.
Family members of Gayland Allen Jr. were present as one of the two teenage suspects faced a judge in Arapahoe County court Wednesday afternoon.
Many details are sealed because the suspects are 15 and 16 years old.
The 16-year-old appeared in adult court, but his attorneys want his case moved to juvenile court. The victim’s family knows it will be a very long process, but they say they will be there every step of the way.
“Crime has been committed, justice need to be served, plain and simple,” Gayland Allen Sr. said.
Allen Jr. was last seen alive outside his Aurora home on Dec. 28, 2019. His body was found on New Year’s Day in Jefferson County.
Police arrested a 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy suspected of his killing.
“I don’t know if ‘difficult’ is the word. ‘Why’ is the word. Why a young kid do such a heinous crime, I don’t know. I mentor kids, hundreds of them. There’s probably an explanation behind it, but there’s no excuse behind it,” Allen Sr. said.
Allen was known as “lion” for his hair, his heart and his courage. His family says he made an impact on his entire community.
“Everybody knows he’s loved and missed, and now the general public knows how much he was loved by so many, hundreds and hundreds of people. I miss my son,” Allen Sr. said,
Allen Jr. comes from a large family that has dealt with heartbreak in the past.
His twin sister drowned in a swimming pool accident in 2003.
Now, the family is relying on their family to get them through another tragic loss.
The district attorney asked the judge for a protection order for the witnesses in the case, saying there have been a series of threats against them.
The 16-year-old is facing several felony counts, including first-degree murder. He is being held without bond.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Allen family cover funeral costs.