Man accused of killing Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm faces murder, other charges

Posted at 11:21 AM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 16:27:23-05

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. – The man accused of shooting and killing Adams County sheriff’s deputy Heath Gumm last week was formally charged Wednesday with four counts of first-degree murder and three other counts.

Dreion Martise Dearing, 22, was charged with the four varying counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and one count of third-degree assault.

The murder charges are: first-degree murder of a peace officer after deliberation; first-degree felony murder of a peace officer; first-degree murder after deliberation and first-degree felony murder.

The assault charge is the only misdemeanor count.

The judge also unsealed Dearing's arrest affidavit Wednesday, which provides further insight into what happened before and after the shooting, and how law enforcement determined that Dearing was the suspect.

Dearing’s mother and father were both in court Wednesday, as was Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh. Dearing nodded toward them when he walked into the courtroom, and looked their way again upon leaving.

"As the leader of the organization for which our deputy was killed, I think that it's important to represent the agency in that way," McIntosh said.

The judge ruled that Dearing will be held without bond until his preliminary hearing, which was tentatively set for April 18. There will be a motions hearing in the case on Feb. 21.

Dearing is accused of shooting and killing Gumm in an altercation in Thornton that followed Gumm and another deputy arriving on an assault call.

Two other people were interviewed in connection to the case, but were released by law enforcement authorities.

The funeral services for Gumm are scheduled for Friday in Lafayette. There will be a police funeral procession beforehand. The service will take place at 11 a.m. at the Flatirons Community Church, located at 355 W. South Boulder Road in Lafayette.

The Adams County Sheriff's Foundation is accepting donations for Gumm's family. The Adams County Sheriff's Office said that information about Gumm's funeral arrangements would be posted on its website at a later date. The family has asked that donations be made to the Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation in lieu of flowers.

Court records show Dearing was found guilty of a felony robbery charge in July 2014 in Denver, hence the weapons possession charge. He was originally also charged with second-degree assault in that case after his October 2013 arrest, but the charge was dropped.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Dearing would face either life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

District Attorney Dave Young said Wednesday it was too soon to know if he’d seek the death penalty. He still has several months to make the decision.

“That’s a very important decision to make, and I certainly want to have everything I need to make that decision,” Young said.

Denver7's Jennifer Kovaleski and Meghan Lopez contributed to this report.