El Paso News

District Attorney declines murder charge against suspect in 2016 murder

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - The murder charge against a man accused of murder in the 2016 cold case murder of Devon Leatherbury has been declined by the District Attorney's office, according to court documents.

Richard Zelonis, 55, was arrested June 22 along with his son Aaron for the murder of Leatherbury, whose body was found in the Northeast El Paso desert. Autopsy reports show Leatherbury was shot in the head before being found August 16, 2016 in the remote area off of Dyer and Railroad.

On June 26, the District Attorney's office declined to prosecute the murder charge against Richard Zelonis and will instead be pursing a Tampering with Evidence charge. The case against his son, Aaron are still in the pre-file stages and have not yet been officially accepted by the District Attorney's Office.

The Complaint Affidavit, which is required for El Paso Police to make an arrest in any case has not yet been filed with the District Clerk's office, meaning details and motive are still unclear. 

Both men remain behind bars in connection to Leatherbury's death. Richard Zelonis' bond was lowered to $50,000 and Aaron Zelonis' bond remains $1 million. 

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