A friend says two slain Adams County teens hatched sex-video blackmail plot against man in April

Friend: Now dead-boys asked him to join plot

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - A friend says two Adams County teens killed when they allegedly tried to blackmail a man with a sex video began plotting the extortion four months ago.

Now, 16-year-old Gustavo "Danny" Espinosa-Gamboa and 15-year-old Jonathan Gonzalez are dead and 43-year-old William "Billy" Otto has been arrested and charged with murder.

The 16-year-old friend, who along with his mother, spoke exclusively to 7NEWS reporter Jaclyn Allen on Tuesday, says the now-dead teens tried to get him to join their blackmail plot.

"Danny came to me in April and said he knew a way we could get some money from Billy by making up some accusations," the friend said. "I didn't think he would really do anything."

The friend and his mother talked with 7NEWS outside the Adams County Sheriff's Office, where they also spoke with investigators Tuesday. The mother and son said they did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation from gang members.

The boy was clearly shaken by his friends' deaths.

"I've known Danny since 5th grade," said the boy, who'd also been friends with Jonathan for years.

All these teenage boys liked to hang out at Billy Otto's High Street house near Thornton, where they would watch TV and drink Billy's beer.

The friend said he didn't really believe Danny and Jonathan when they told him about their plan to shake down Billy for money.

"At first, I thought (Danny) wasn't really going to go with it," the friend said. "At first, I thought he was just trying to be all hard and stuff."

But according to the arrest affidavit, friends say the teens went through with their plan -- and it backfired. The affidavit says the Danny and Jonathan recorded a cellphone video in which Otto asks Danny if he could perform oral sexual on the teen. Friends who saw the video said it also showed Otto inappropriately touching Danny.

Danny's and Jonathan's plan, friends say, was to confront Otto with the video and threaten to take it to police if the man didn't pay them.

Otto has confessed to shooting and killing the teens Friday night in his Adams County home -- claiming Jonathan came at him with a knife when Otto refused to pay them $20,000, the affidavit said. Otto then buried them in a shallow grave 160 miles away near his Sedgwick County farm.

When the friend heard Danny and Jonathan had been murdered, it hit him what his fate might have been if he had joined their scheme.

"I coulda been dead," the friend said.

Luckily, the friend's mother made him stop going to Otto's home months ago, after she learned about the drinking parties.

"Oh my God, that could have been my son," the mother said. "I knew it was an accident waiting to happen. A grown man with teenage boys and alcohol, it doesn't mix."

Meanwhile, a former roommate of Otto said everyone involved in the bizarre case were good people.

Dyvante Furley was friends with the Jonathan Danny.

"They were pretty chill," Furley said. "They were like the homies."

Furley had also lived with the suspect, who is known in the neighborhood as "Billy."

"Billy was a chill person. Whenever you needed help you could go to Billy and ask him," Furley said.

Furley says Otto never made sexual advances toward him.

He added, "I don't think he (Otto) is capable of something like this. I think he would have to have been pushed over the edge, like really bad, in order to do something like that."

"I'm praying for the families and I'm praying for Billy," Furley said.

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