Adams County Defendant Convicted of Murdering King Soopers Distribution Center Supervisor in Broad Daylight, Outside Victim's Workplace
July 27, 2023
Brighton, CO — Today, 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the First-Degree Murder conviction of Michael Poydras, 32, following a two-week jury trial in Adams County District Court.
On October 20, 2021, the Aurora Police Department was called to 1700 N. Tower Road in response to a shooting that had just occurred. When they arrived, they located a number of spent shell casings and a vehicle that had crashed nearby. Inside they found a man who was suffering from several gunshot wounds. The victim, Ryan Dillard, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives obtained surveillance video from a nearby location within the industrial park where this shooting occurred. The video showed a man, dressed in all black, lying in wait for a vehicle to pass. As the vehicle approached, the individual appeared from behind a sign and began to run in the direction of the car. The man dressed in all black opened fire on the vehicle as the driver attempted to exit the area. The shooting occurred at 9:17am on October 20, 2021.
Dillard was hired on October 4, 2021, to replace a supervisor at the King Soopers Distribution Center at 1861 Tower Road in the Adams County portion of Aurora. As Dillard was transitioning into his new role, it came to light that some of the employees of the facility were running a payroll scheme. Michael Poydras previously worked at the distribution center. At the time of Dillard's hiring, Poydras was still on the payroll as part of the scheme but no longer worked for King Soopers. On the morning of October 21, 2021, Poydras, dressed in all black, hid behind a sign on the property and ambushed Dillard as he drove by. Poydras opened fire on Dillard's vehicle and fled the scene.
On July 21, 2023, an Adams County Jury convicted Poydras of the following charge:
First-Degree Murder (F1)
On July 27, 2023, an Adams County District Court Judge sentenced Poydras to Life Without the Possibility of Parole. "This was a cold and calculated murder, committed in broad daylight for all to see,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. “Mr. Poydras murdered a supervisor to keep a payroll scheme he was benefiting from in operation. I’m grateful to the Aurora Police Department for their investigation and my team at the DA’s Office for securing justice in this heinous case."
The case against Jerrelle Smith, Poydras' co-defendant, is still pending in Adams County District Court. Case number 2022CR001524 is set for a Bond Hearing on July 28, 2023, in Division Q.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Alex Baker and Senior Deputy District Attorney Danny Paulson led the prosecution of this case.
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District Attorney Mason assumed the oath of office on January 12, 2021. The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office endeavors to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Adams and Broomfield counties in felony and misdemeanor cases. DA Mason and his staff are dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system to better serve the citizens of the 17th Judicial District.
Ms. Gazelka is a forensic therapist and clinician in Denver, Colorado. She is currently focused on providing therapy and assessment services to adult offenders in the community corrections and parole systems as a supervisor at Correctional Psychology Associates (CPA). Her education and career have been devoted to the intersection of psychology and law since 2000. Ms. Gazelka has been working within the field of forensic and correctional psychology since 2006, providing therapy in the community and acute mental health care and risk assessments in county jails. She has practiced as a Licensed Professional Counselor since June 2012. She also became a Licensed Addiction Counselor in March 2014. She was listed as a full operating level DVOMB Approved Provider in June 2019 and started a fledgling DV program oriented to Colorado’s Department of Corrections at CPA in September 2019. Ms. Gazelka was appointed to the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB) in March 2019 and has started her second term with the board. Ms. Gazelka has been recognized for her work as Contributor of the Year at CPA in 2010 and 2012, as well as having been awarded an Alumni Impact Award for her forensic work in the community by University of Denver’s GSPP in 2019. Ms. Gazelka received her Master of Arts degree in Forensic Clinical Psychology from University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology in 2009. Ms. Gazelka also received her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in 2007, obtaining attorney’s licenses in both Minnesota and Colorado (currently inactive).
Alex Castro Croy
Alex Castro Croy is a bilingual, bicultural, Trauma and Addiction Counselor and owner/Lead Clinician of Life Recovery Centers in Denver and Northglenn Colorado.
A first-generation immigrant from Mexico who accomplished his dream in higher education receiving an AA in Pastoral Ministry (Dallas, Texas), Bachelor of Science in Human Services (MSU in Denver, Colorado) and MA in Community Counseling from Regis University (Denver, Co). He is continuing to pursue his MA/Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Jungian and Archetypal Studies.
Alex’s passion includes training, teaching, counseling, and consulting. He has been an Adjunct Professor for the Human Services Department at MSU-Denver for 9 years. He has served as an Interventionist for the Latino GLBTQ community, Drug Court Probation Officer at Denver Juvenile Court Probation (8 years), Bilingual Diversion Officer for Denver DA office (5 years), and currently owner and director of Life Recovery Centers (7 years). He has worked with a variety of clients from all walks of life and his eclectic therapeutic interventions have proven to be effective in treating trauma and addiction.
Thea Wessel is an addictions counselor with a private practice in Colorado. She has been working in the criminal and addiction fields for thirteen years. Ms. Wessel earned her Masters in forensic psychology from the University of Denver and has her LPC, LAC, MAC, NCAAC, and ADS. She is working towards her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Ms. Wessel continually challenges herself and others to provide quality addiction treatment and ways to continue to educate the community about addiction issues.