Man charged with manslaughter after game of Russian roulette leaves one dead in Westminster

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A man has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a man in a Westminster apartment last week that involved alcohol, drugs and a game of Russian roulette.

Zachary Espinosa-Bivens, 22, was shot in the head in a unit at the Edgewood Apartments (6980 Stuart St.) about midnight on Feb. 22, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said.

Marquis Leon Brooks, 21, has been charged with felony manslaughter, possession of a controlled substance, special offender involving a deadly weapon and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, prosecutors said.

Brooks was advised of the charges Tuesday in Adams County Court. A preliminary hearing was set for March 23. He is being held on a $10,000 bond.

According to an arrest affidavit, Brooks, Espinosa-Bivens, Andrew Duran and Elmer Trujillo were in the apartment when Brooks emptied the cylinder of a revolver except for one bullet.

Brooks then held the gun to his head and said, “Let’s see if this is my time,” according to the affidavit. Brooks pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire, according to the affidavit.

Espinosa-Bivens, who was sitting on a bed next to Brooks, then said, “Let’s see if it’s my time,” according to the affidavit.

Brooks then allegedly pointed the gun at Espinosa-Bivens’ head and pulled the trigger. The gun fired, and Espinoa-Bivens fell to the floor, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said the four men had been drinking at the apartment, and Brooks had taken Xanax, and cocaine.

After the shooting, Brooks, Trujillo and Duran left in a vehicle that Brooks was driving. It was stopped by police where officers arrested Brooks on suspicion of DUI.

Two .45 caliber bullets were found in Brooks’ pants as well as a plastic baggie with 2 grams of suspected cocaine, according to the affidavit.

Duran and Trujillo were released after Brooks was arrested and taken into custody. Duran later called police to tell them about the shooting.

Brooks then admitted in an interview with detectives that he pointed the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger, then did the same with Espinosa-Bivens.

“Brooks stated that he did shoot the gun but did not intend on killing or shooting Bivens,” according to the affidavit.

Last week, Brooks said he remembers very little from the night of the shooting.

“I loved him. He knows I loved him. God knows I loved him. I loved him. I loved him with everything I had,” he said.

“If I could go back, I would go back, I would do anything to go back to that day. I loved him. God knows it. I have a heart. I’m not a monster. I’m not a monster.”

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