There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts. Mahatma Gandhi
This is a story that has not been told until now, because prosecutors and their friends in the media don’t want you to know the truth. Luke Pelham, a boy who had been bullied most of his life and never fought back, has now turned 20 but still has the mind set and function of an early teen. Just after turning 18, he found himself in a bad situation. He’s was facing life without parole in the Colorado Department of Corrections as an innocent man.
There Was No Physical Evidence Against Luke - In Fact, The Opposite.
The prosecutor and the local media would have liked you to believe that they had physical evidence, they talking about a golf club claiming that it was used. The real facts are that the items (everything Luke wore and the golf club) were sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations forensic labs to be tested. All items came back clearing Mr. Pelham. There was no blood or DNA on any of those items. In fact the golf club, according to photos and reports that we have been provided with, show that it was old, beat up and rusty, had many pits and dents and would have been impossible to clean. It was also dirty and rusty indicating that no attempt had been made to clean it.
Even with that information in hand, the prosecutor continued to play to the media and talk about this item, and the media (who was present when the report was talked about in court and heard the defense continually point out that the evidence had come back clean) continued to report it. This was nothing short of irresponsible journalism and sensational non-sense done in an effort to mislead the public, and convict and malign Mr. Pelham in the court of public opinion.
Mr. Holford has maintained from the beginning that Mr. Pelham was not present during the assault, the golf club was also not present nor used. Mr. Holford has also stated that there was nothing pre-meditated in what he did . He did not plan to assault Aaron with a baseball bat. He told police that he was only going to ask about the rumor of him assaulting his girlfriend and if it was true he was going to punch him in the face and break his stuff. He told police he was willing to do the time for the crime of punching him and breaking his stuff. He told police that Aaron had a record for using knives and he intended to defend himself. He also told police that when he entered the residence that Aaron said something that made him snap and he lost it and began swinging.
So the bottom line is this. If the person who committed the assault did not know nor plan that he was going to react that way and make that choice at that moment, how can anyone else be expected to know that was going to happen?
Luke, left with no other choice, was coerced (defined as the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.) into accepting a plea to 2nd degree murder, which, in lay terms, is the intentional killing of another. This did not reflect Luke's lack of culpability but Luke was threatened with life without parole. Felony murder requires very low culpability. Simply being outside and knowing that Austin Holford thought he had a reason to be mad at Aaron would have been enough. Felony murder does not require that you know a crime is going to take place, does not require that you participate in the crime, does not require that you are even present. Read the story of Ryan Holle who loaned his car to someone and went to bed. When he woke up he was facing felony murder charges for a crime that was committed by the man he loaned his car to. Ryan Holle currently serves life without parole in Florida.
The prosecutor and the local media would have you believe that this was about stealing an Xbox. The truth is that this case never had anything to do with an Xbox. That was just another sensationalized headline used for shock factor and attention. This case started when a girl told a lie to Mr. Holford about the victim having assaulted her and caused serious damage to her face.
At sentencing the Judge proclaimed that taking a third life away in this case (referring to Mr. Pelham) was "What I'm deciding is if taking away a third life in this case is justice," Butler said. "That's not justice; that's vengeance." but in any felony murder case or that of a plea bargain, the judge has no control or power to act. He gave Mr. Pelham the minimum that he could give him which, sadly, was 30 years in the department of corrections. Mr. Pelham was evaluated time and again by DOC and determined to have major impairments in cognitive function and intellectual disability as well as social emotional deficits and other related impairments. He was placed into a prison that only houses people with intellectual disability, developmental disability or mental illness. This is a max security facility and the inmates are locked down for 22 hours per day coming out only for groups and chow hall.
Hear from people who know Luke and know him well, people who know the truth.
(video is dark. Courtesy of the Pelham family and friends)