Defendant Sentenced to 32 Years in Prison for Fatally Shooting Victim Through a Bathroom Door in Aurora
May 24, 2022
Brighton, CO — Today, 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the 32-year Department of Corrections sentence for Octavis Styles, 26, following his guilty plea to Second-Degree Murder on March 18, 2022.
On March 21, 2020, Octavis Styles and Thomas Boles arrived at the apartment of Surajadin Ahmed, 22, along East 16th Avenue in Aurora, to purchase marijuana. After a short conversation, Ahmed went to the bathroom and closed the door.
While Ahmed was in the bathroom, Styles and Boles brandished handguns and threatened the other occupants of the home. Styles then fired three shots through the bathroom door which struck Ahmed. Styles and Boles grabbed several large bags of marijuana and fled the apartment.
Ahmed was struck in the back, stomach, and leg. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Through the course of a detailed investigation by the Aurora Police Department, Styles was identified as the suspect in this case. The defendant was arrested in Florida in December 2020 and extradited back to Colorado to face trial.
On March 18, 2022, Styles pleaded guilty in Adams County District Court to the following charge:
Second-Degree Murder (F2)
On May 23, 2022, an Adams County District Court Judge sentenced Styles to 32 years in the Department of Corrections with five years of parole.
"This defendant pulled out a gun and fired into a closed bathroom door, killing an unsuspecting victim, all because he desired to steal a bag of marijuana," said District Attorney Brian Mason. “This was a brutal, senseless killing which defies explanation.”
Boles, the co-defendant in this case, previously pleaded guilty to Robbery Aggravated-Menacing Victim with a Deadly Weapon (F3) and was sentenced to 19 years in the Department of Corrections.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Fritts and Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Ryder led the prosecution of these cases.
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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.