LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Police say a teenage victim in a violent attack hid in dense trees in Summit County to avoid getting killed.
The main suspect and victim had only known each other for a couple of weeks and both had ties to an acting class. They caught the suspect when he showed up at St. Anthony Hospital with injuries.
According to the arrest affidavit, the suspect was admitted into the same hospital as his victim, put on the same floor, and no one knew he was there. It was a nurse that put the two together and called police. The suspect was arrested at the hospital and is now in jail.
Tyrus Vanmatre, 20, with the help of a 16-year-old accomplice, is accused of luring the teen into the mountains and trying to kill him with a machete.
“What’s shocking about it is the extent of violence that came along from these youthful perpetrators.”,” Summit County District Attorney Bruce Brown said.
Brown says it’s early in the investigation and right now there’s no clear motive as to why the attack occurred. Court documents suggest money may be involved. When asked why he thought they would want to kill him, the victim, Jadon Jellis, 18, told police, “Probably my money.”
“We understand that the victim had at least some money that may have been a target by the perpetrators, but we are unclear. Of course we don’t need motive, what we have is a crime,” Brown said.
Jellis was released from the hospital on Monday. He had suffered a hack from a machete to his head and face.
According to arrest papers, Vanmatre got Jellis into the mountains by telling him they were going to do a job, which he believed meant they were going to rob someone in a home invasion. Jellis agreed to go along and was caught off guard when the two suspects he was with attacked him.
“It seems like this was a plot, a thought-out conspiracy, in order to lure our victim into the woods where he was taken unawares,” Brown said.
Investigators believe the two had known each other for less than a month and that Vanmatre, an aspiring actor and model, had first met the victim’s brother in an acting class and quickly formed a friendship with Jellis. The two had apparently planned to move in together.
Jellis was able to fight off his attackers with two throwing knives that he had secretly taken from the suspect’s car. He walked nearly 2 miles before Summit County deputies found him cut up on the side of the road.
Brown says they are looking into the idea that the teens were committing home invasions but right now believe it was all part of the lie.
A friend interviewed by detectives says Vanmatre often carries weapons “on his person as he walks and goes about town.”
“I know he has professed a desire for someone to create an issue so he can defend himself,” the friend told detectives.
Jellis claims Vanmatre also stole several thousand dollars from him, but Brown says the motive still needs to be ironed out.