AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — When Lloyd Love Jr. was released on a personal recognizance bond on July 6, his sister feared tragedy would follow.
Three months later on Oct. 20, Love was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder after the Aurora Police Department said he shot 52-year-old Marvin Johnson in the face over a paycheck typo.
“Now don’t get me wrong, I do feel like my brother should pay, but had the system listened to me, none of us would be sitting here right now,” said Tiffany, who asked the Problem Solvers not to use her last name.
The 42-year-old told the Problem Solvers her 35-year-old brother has a history of drug and mental health issues and has spent at least 11 years in jail or prison for different crimes.
Sister warned of brother’s behavior
An Arapahoe County judge issued a protection order for Tiffany against her brother after he was arrested on April 3 on counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor assault causing injury.
An arrest affidavit said Love Jr. slapped his sister and threw a large rock at her chest, injuring her left breast. Love Jr. was given a $25,000 bond, an amount Tiffany said her homeless brother had no way to pay.
But on June 30, the public defender’s office for Arapahoe County convinced Magistrate Christina Apostoli to grant Love Jr. a personal recognizance bond, meaning he could be released without posting a penny.
“I begged them not to,” said Tiffany, who said she told the prosecutor, the public defender and her brother’s case worker that he might hurt someone if he was released on a PR bond.
“He says he hears voices, he hears things, you know, telling him to do certain things,” said Tiffany, who added her brother did not like to take medication for his diagnosis of schizophrenia.
“So why would you let a violent offender back out on the streets, and especially when this family is telling you that he’s mentally ill?” Tiffany said.
Apostoli granted the PR bond over the objection of Arapahoe County prosecutors but did mandate a pre-trial mental health program, where Love Jr. was required to check in with a case worker once a week.
Among his bond conditions, Love Jr. had to promise he would “not possess any firearms or other deadly weapons … not possess or consume any drug … not commit any new offenses.”
Love Jr.’s shoots, kills employer over typo
Three months later on Oct. 20, Johnson would be dead. The 52-year-old owned American Eagle Protection Services, which provides security for a number of businesses across the metro.
Love Jr. had been employed as a security guard for less than a week when he demanded to meet his boss, Johnson, in the Aurora parking lot of aerospace defense contractor Raytheon Corporation, where Johnson provided outdoor security.
According to an arrest affidavit, Love Jr. was upset because his middle initial was wrong on his paycheck so he was “unable to cash the check.”
Witnesses said Johnson offered to have a new paycheck issued. But as he asked his wife, who was standing next to him, to write Love Jr. a new check, he was shot in the face.
Later that night when interviewed by an Aurora police detective, Love Jr. reportedly said, “I should have ate that last bullet. I should have just shot myself like I originally planned.”
Lisa Theriot, Johnson’s ex-wife, told FOX31, “We’ve just been so in shock I can’t even describe the feeling I feel right now. He destroyed our family.”
The Problem Solvers met Theriot at Love Jr.’s advisement hearing on Monday, Oct. 24, where Theriot had hoped to see him in court. But Love Jr. refused to leave his jail cell and appear in the courtroom.
“I want to know why you would release this man on a PR bond. I want to know why the system is the way it is. Because he should not have been walking around if his sister felt threatened for her life and said he was a danger to society. I don’t understand why you would release him,” an emotional Theriot said outside the Arapahoe County Justice Center.
‘The system failed us’
“I feel really terrible. I hurt for the family. I apologize to the family,” said Tiffany, who told FOX31 she wanted the Johnson family to know she and her father made every effort to keep her brother in jail.
“It’s devastating, because, once again, this could have been avoided. The system failed us,” Tiffany said.
A court spokesman for Apostoli told the Problem Solvers that under the Code of Judicial Conduct, judges can’t comment on pending cases. A spokesman for the Colorado Office of the State Public Defender told FOX31 it has a standing policy not to comment on pending cases.
Because Love Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder, he is not eligible for bond. At his advisement hearing, it was revealed that he’s been placed on suicide watch.
He’s due back in court for his preliminary hearing on Dec. 2.