Police: Nathaniel Tallman killed after planning marijuana deal; blood found in suspect's van

Autopsy: Tallman died of gunshot wound

DENVER - A Lafayette man found shot to death last week was killed after planning to meet one of the suspects for a marijuana deal, jail records show.

Russell Britton, 58, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nathaniel Tallman, 25.

According to the police report, Tallman planned to meet Britton the night he disappeared.

Tallman left his house on Whitetail Circle at about 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 and wasn't heard from again.

Phone records show calls between Tallman and Britton leading up to the meeting, investigators said. The last call was at 6:41 p.m. on Jan. 21.

Tallman's phone last pinged off cell towers at 7:52 p.m., and showed a location very close to Britton's home on South County Road 21 in Larimer County.

Britton told investigators Tallman never showed up for the meeting.

Britton said he drove to Minot, North Dakota later that evening, along a route that took him down U.S. Highway 85 near Lusk, Wyoming -- where Tallman's body was found on Mar. 13. Tallman's wallet and ID were found with his body.

A search of Britton's van turned up blood that matched Tallman's DNA profile. Britton said Tallman had never been in the van.

An autopsy confirmed Tallman died of a gunshot wound.

Britton is being held at the Boulder County Jail with no bond and had a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday at 8:15 a.m.

Also under arrest is Moises Cazares Mendez, 26, who is being held in San Diego for first-degree murder on a $1 million bond.

Investigators aren't saying how Mendez is linked to the crime.

They say he is awaiting extradition back to Colorado.

Britton and Mendez both have previous arrest records. Britton's rap sheet includes arrests for theft, forgery and driving under suspension. Mendez' rap sheet includes arrests for menacing, domestic violence and for being a habitual traffic offender.


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