330-pound man pleads guilty to beating 112-pound Aurora teen to death


AURORA | A 330-pound man accused of beating a 112-pound teen to death last year has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is set for sentencing next week.

Dustin Dwight Freeman pleaded guilty in July to second-degree murder in connection with the May 2016 slaying of 19-year-old Andres Antonio Hernandez in Aurora. He is set for sentencing Oct. 30.

Freeman initially faced multiple charges, including first-degree murder, which could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. It wasn’t immediately clear from court records Monday whether the plea agreement stipulated a specific sentence recommendation for Freeman, who has been in jail since his arrest in May 2016 a few days after the slaying.

According to testimony at Freeman’s preliminary hearing last year, Hernandez lived in utter fear of Freeman, his roommate’s sometimes-boyfriend, in the months before his death.

Part of the fear stemmed from the whopping size difference between the two — Hernandez, 19, and still wearing braces to fix dental problems caused by a cleft pallet, stood just 4-feet 9-inches tall and weighed 112 pounds. Freeman, meanwhile, was a hulking 39-year-old who stands 6-feet 4-inches tall and weighs about 330 pounds, according to his driver’s license.

In March 2016, investigators say Freeman kicked in Hernandez’s door. And on at least eight separate occasions before his death, Hernandez and his roommate called police or apartment security to report Freeman’s threats.

On May 16, 2016, police say the stream of harassment and threats took a violent turn when Freeman attacked Hernandez, cracking a rib, breaking his nose and leaving the diminutive teen to die in his west Aurora apartment.

Arapahoe County coroner Kelly Lear-Kaul told the court during the preliminary hearing that Hernandez died from blunt force trauma to his head and neck. The teen had so many bruises and abrasions all over his head, neck and trunk it was impossible to count just how many blows there were, she said.