Aurora man charged in wife’s September murder

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AURORA | A 33-year-old man accused of going on a shooting rampage in September along the Denver and Aurora James Anthony Draper, mug shot courtesy Aurora police. border has been charged with murder in connection with his wife’s slaying a day prior to that spree.

James Anthony Draper was charged last week with first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Ashley Ross-Draper, 29.

Ross-Draper was found shot to death Sept. 10 at an apartment on 407 S. Memphis Way. The Arapahoe County coroner said she died of multiple gunshot wounds.

A day after Ross-Draper was found dead, police arrested Draper in connection with the slaying but declined to call him a suspect, instead referring to him as a “person of interest” in the victim’s slaying.

Draper was arrested after police said he carjacked a vehicle and randomly shot at people and police before officers arrested him following a high-speed chase.

According to an arrest affidavit filed against Draper, several of Ross-Draper’s friends and relatives told police he was abusive toward her and had threatened to kill her in the past.

The day Ross-Draper’s body was found, Draper asked a relative to rent him a car so he could flee the state, the affidavit said.

When Draper was arrested following the chase with police, officers found a .45-caliber submachine gun in the car as well as several shell casings. That gun matched the gun used to kill Ross-Draper, the affidavit said.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Draper — who is being held without bond at the Arapahoe County jail — would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.