A 44-year-old man was convicted of multiple felonies for attacking four people with a baseball bat at PT’s Showclub in Denver in 2019, killing one man, the Denver District Attorney announced Friday.
Ryan Ashland was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, one count of burglary, one count of felony menacing and two counts of committing a violent crime using a real or simulated weapon.
The jury deliberated for an hour on Thursday before returning a guilty verdict for all charges, the district attorney’s office said.
Police arrested Ashland on April 28, 2019, at the scene of the incident at 1601 W. Evans Ave. after shocking the suspect with a Taser when he did not comply with their demands.
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One victim told police that she heard screaming or grunting noises from another woman and saw a man hitting something on a baseball bat, the affidavit said. The suspect then hit that victim with the baseball bat and she fell on the ground, the statement said. She tried to cover her head and hands, and the suspect continued to hit her. She pretended to be unconscious until he walked away, according to the police statement.
The suspect then went back to the first woman and started hitting her again. That woman fled and the attacker chased her, the arrest affidavit said.
The woman tried to tell a man what was happening as she ran toward the club’s front door and the suspect then allegedly turned his attention toward him and chased him with the bat around the parking lot, the affidavit said. The man went to the back of the business and locked the door.
The suspect saw a second man walking down the street and allegedly started beating that man as the man tried to get help from passersby, the affidavit said.
Three of the victims were transported to Denver Health Medical Center with blunt force injuries to their heads and bodies, while one was injured but not hospitalized. One victim was left in critical condition, while Wendell Janis, 56, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Denver police redacted portions of the probable cause statement, including what the suspect said to police. Prior to his detainment by police, the suspect was “making excited utterances,” according to the statement. The affidavit did not contain a possible motive for the attack.