Torreyson found guilty in 2018 beating death of Keith Wayne
It took the jury barely 90 minutes Wednesday to convict Trevor Torreyson of murdering Keith Wayne back in June 2018 during a night of heavy drinking in a small private park area in West Glenwood.
And that included the time it took for the jury to eat lunch before entering into their deliberations following the two-week trial.
The case was handed over to the jury a little after noon, once Torreyson, who represented himself in the case, and 9th District Attorney Jeff Cheney wrapped up their closing arguments.
Just after 2 p.m., Garfield District Judge James Boyd returned to the courtroom, the Webex video conference session was restarted, and the judge announced that the jury had reached its verdict.
Torreyson, 46, was found guilty by the jury’s unanimous decision of the single count of first-degree murder. Torreyson is likely to be sentenced to life in prison, though he did ask after the jury was dismissed about his right to appeal.
Formal sentencing is set for 9 a.m. March 23. Cheney said a few family members of Wayne’s have reached out about being present for the sentencing.
It would be a chance to bring some closure to the family, and justice to a “happy-go-lucky” man — who would have turned 61 last October, who always had a joke to tell, but who had fallen into homelessness and who admittedly was “prone to live life from one bottle of alcohol to the next,” Cheney said in his closing argument to the jury.
“This was a man who we don’t know much about, who we knew little about his family, or friends, or those who might have missed him and mourned for him,” he said.
Evidence presented in the trial, and by Torreyson’s own admission, put the two together the night of June 19, 2018 after Wayne had won a lottery scratch ticket and was looking to celebrate with some vodka “and maybe a little cinnamon whiskey,” Cheney argued.
Little did Wayne know his decision to link up with Torreyson, who witnesses in the case said seemed to be very angry that day over some stolen items of his, would turn deadly, Cheney said.
Wayne was found dead the next morning by workers at the Subaru dealership, where the two had apparently been drinking at a small outdoor picnic table, his face beaten beyond recognition. An autopsy would reveal he had a broken neck.
Bloody boot prints led from the scene in the direction of Torreyson’s nearby camp under an Interstate 70 bridge by the Colorado River. Police also identified a bandanna that was left at the scene as belonging to Torreyson, who was located at his camp later the night of June 20, 2018, along with the bloody boots and blood-stained clothing that video surveillance at a West Glenwood liquor store showed he had been wearing the previous night.
Also at Torreyson’s camp was a backpack belonging to Wayne and he was in possession of $42 that possibly belonged to the victim — potential motives in the case, Cheney said.
“This was a deliberate, violent and deadly beating, and the defendant sitting here in this room is the killer,” he said.
Torreyson throughout the trial had tried to say there were too many holes in the evidence to pin the crime on him, and that he believes someone framed him.
He claimed that he left Wayne by himself after Wayne had passed out on the picnic table, and that the murder must have happened afterwards when he was back at his camp and asleep.
“This case has eaten me up in ways I can’t even imagine,” Torreyson told the jury, referencing his frustrations with defense attorneys and his ultimate decision to represent himself.
Had investigators gathered more video evidence, they might have seen someone else walking away from the scene, he said.
Assistant District Attorney Ben Sollars said in his final comments that, rather than picking through the evidence to try to find clues leading to another potential killer, Torreyson was “desperately coming to terms with the fact that he snuffed out the life of Keith Wayne … for a very dumb, dumb reason.”
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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