Law enforcement officers’ testimony on Wednesday and Thursday suggests a motive for the events that led to the death of 23-year-old Aron Villegas on Nov. 15, 2015.
KBI Special Agent Cody Goforth and Senior Special Agent Brian Carroll, along with Great Bend Police Detective Scott Bieberle, described what they were told during interviews with Adam Suppes, Juventino Villegas and Alejo Villegas. All three of the defendants made voluntary statements to officers after the shooting, not realizing they could become first-degree murder suspects.
A week before the crime, Aron’s younger brother had been caught holding narcotics. According to the testimony, Aron blamed Sterling Mills, because Mills was with his brother but fled and left him to be caught.
Aron wanted the others to go with him to beat up Mills, according to statements allegedly made by the suspects to the agents.
By 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, some of them had started drinking at 2903 Lakin Ave. Suppes arrived later, closer to 2 a.m. Sunday by some accounts. He faces a separate narcotics charge; during a search of the basement, officers said they found a debit card with his name on it and a white powdery residue. Suppes told police he’d had four beers.
Beer and shots of tequila were being consumed by some, and Aron was getting madder and madder about what had happened the week before, according to Juventino. He wanted to go to Mills and start a fight. The others weren’t as angry but where willing to go.
Sometime before 6:39 a.m. Sunday, they got in a pickup and drove to Mills’s house at 1801 Eighth Street.
When no one would come outside, Aron Villegas broke the door open with a sledge hammer and a white male who had spent the night there came out. Juventino chased him a short distance but after a night of drinking he was easily winded and returned to the house.
By that time, Aron and Alejo had gone inside and Juventino followed. (He told Carroll he wasn’t sure where Suppes was at that point.) He heard Alejo yelling, “Give me the gun!”
Mills was on his bed struggling to keep his hold on a handgun, so Juventino joined the scuffle, punching Mills, who said, “If I give you the gun will you leave?” Alejo took the gun and they headed outside. Suppes was with Aron, who was on the ground with a gunshot wound that appeared to be on his arm. They carried him to the truck and returned to 2903 Lakin, not realizing how grave the wound was.
Meanwhile, Mills called 911 and reported the break-in, omitting the part about shooting one of his assailants. Back at 2903 Lakin, Aron was taken into the kitchen, and they realized he had more than a wound to his arm. Two people had cell phones with dead batteries, but they eventually found a charged phone and called 911.
Editors's Note: This story was modified on April 1 to correct the name of the suspect who allegedly broke the door with a sledge hammer. Agent Brian Carroll testified that he was told Aron Villegas broke the door.