Aurora man gets life for 2020 murder originally dubbed ‘suspicious death’

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AURORA | An Aurora man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of 33-year-old Brandon Brabson in an apartment complex parking lot last summer, an Arapahoe County judge decided Sept. 9.

Cameron Costello, 26, was sentenced to the statutorily required punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting Brabson with a single round in the back of the head in the early morning hours of June 23, 2020, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Aurora police relied on footage from multiple security cameras at the Sable Cove Apartment complex to accuse Costello of causing Brabson’s death, which authorities initially believed was a suicide. Detectives determined that Costello and Brabson were the only people visible in footage at the time of the shooting.

“There is not enough time (24 seconds) for someone else to approach from the north, climb a fence, shoot Brabson, and flee without being seen or caught on any of the numerous camera angles,” police wrote in an affidavit filed against Costello.

A spokesperson for the local district attorney’s office said Brabson was outside of the Aurora apartment complex attempting to contact his ex-girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him.

He repeatedly tried to gain access to the woman’s apartment by claiming that he had left his cell phone inside, which she said was not true.

At one point during the evening, Costello apparently propped open Brabson’s ex-girlfriend’s apartment door with his foot, demanding that she return Brabson’s phone.

Costello reportedly told the woman: “Where’s this man’s phone? Give this man his phone, ‘cause I’ll kill him,” according to the affidavit.

A short time later, residents reported hearing a single gunshot wound and found Brabson bleeding in the parking lot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office later determined that Brabson had been shot in the back of the head, dispelling the possibility of suicide, according to the affidavit.

Aurora police originally deemed Brabson’s demise a “suspicious death.”

No gun was found in the area where Brabson’s body was located. Prosecutors said Aurora police eventually found Costello with the same gun linked to Brabson’s  murder.

“This man with a gun took matters into his own hands and executed a father of three,” District Attorney John Kellner said in a statement. “This sentence is appropriate for a murder in cold blood.”

Costello remains detained at the Arapahoe County jail awaiting transfer to state prison. County records indicate he has additional court dates on other misdemeanor charges scheduled next week.

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