Court records in Arvada police officers killing stay secret for now

The affidavit detailing the evidence and allegations against the man accused of killing an Arvada police officer earlier this month will stay secret at least through the end of the week, Jefferson County District Court Judge Russell Klein ruled Tuesday.

Sonny Almanza, 31, is accused of killing Arvada police Officer Dillon Vakoff, 27, early in the morning on Sept. 11 while the officer was attempting to break up a family disturbance in the 6700 block of West 51st Avenue.

Prosecutors with the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday asked Klein to unseal the affidavit, but he declined to do so until Almanza’s public defenders had the chance to object to the unsealing. Klein set a Friday deadline for such objections.

In a limited account of the incident made public so far by police, investigators have said Vakoff and another officer were attempting to break up “belligerent” members of a crowd in the street when police say Almanza opened fire, wounding a woman. Officers returned fire, and both Almanza and Vakoff were wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

Vakoff was taken to a hospital where he died. The woman who was wounded survived the attack. She has not been publicly identified.

Almanza is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, assault and related charges. He appeared in court virtually Tuesday from jail.

He is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 7 for a motions hearing and Nov. 9 for a preliminary hearing.

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