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Alleged intruder shot during home break-in appears in court with arm in a sling

Aaron Rivers under investigation for Trespass
Posted at 11:05 PM, Nov 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 01:05:01-05

DENVER -- An alleged intruder who police say was shot while trying to enter a home through a broken window made his first appearance in court Sunday.

Aaron Rivers, 25, of Phoenix, had his arm in a sling.

Denver Magistrate Greg Rawlings told Rivers that there was probable cause for first degree criminal trespass.

"This is a very alarming situation," Rawlings said. "Someone sees someone coming through their door and trying to get in through their window. It would scare me to death. I know that."

Rivers allegedly walked up to a house on the 4600 block of Wyandot and tried to bust through the front door.

When that didn't work, he allegedly started hurling things that were on the porch through the front window and tried to enter that way. That's when he was shot.

"All of a sudden, I saw lights flashing all around my windows," said neighbor Kathy Parsons.

Parsons shared Ring Bell security video showing police cars parked on the street and an officer walking up to her front door, asking if she had seen anything.

"No, but I heard a noise out here," she replied. "I heard a big 'boom' or something."

Homeowner jolted awake

The homeowner told Denver7 that he couldn't talk about the case yet until he went in for another police interview.

He did say he was sleeping on the couch when he heard a loud crash against the front door. He got up and looked outside and saw things flying around on the porch.

Suspect's court history

A check of court records shows that Rivers has had only one other criminal case filed against him.

In October of 2018, he was convicted of extreme DUI in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was sentenced to 9 days in jail and 60 months of probation.

His defense attorney mentioned the Arizona DUI during his Sunday morning court appearance in court.

"He asserts to me that he believes he is compliant with probation in that case," she said.

But is he?

Denver7 found that after his Arizona DUI conviction, he was cited for operating a car without a court-mandated breathalyzer start device.

That case is still pending.

Before letting him out of jail, without having to post bond, Rawlings said, "You got to stay sober. Can you do that?"

Pointing to his arm, the suspect replied, "right here, sober enough for me."

Rawlings said, "OK, that should do it."

'Make my Day'

Former Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Steinhauser said this case likely falls under Colorado's "Make my Day" law, which protects homeowners who use force against an intruder from prosecution and civil liability.

"All that's required is that the person is making unlawful entry and that the homeowner believes that person is about to commit a crime," explained Steinhauser.

Rivers was released without having to post bond.

He is due back in court at 8 a.m. on November 18.