Aurora man sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting man in head, dumping body in ditch

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Pictured: William Ardoin. Photo provided by the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

AURORA | A 35-year-old Aurora man will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole for shooting a 44-year-old man in the head and dumping his body in a ditch almost two years ago, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. 

An Arapahoe County District Court Judge sentenced William Ardoin, 35, to life in prison plus 12 years on Oct. 3, according to Vikki Migoya, spokeswoman for the local DA’s Office. A jury found Ardoin guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with a body and tampering with evidence late last month.

Investigators determined Ardoin shot Erik Baker, 44, once in the head on Dec. 31, 2018 in the doorway of Ardoin’s home on Kenton Street, according to information provided by Migoya. 

Witnesses told police there was neither an argument nor words exchanged between the two men before the shooting. 

Investigators later learned Ardoin and Baker had previously done business together, though their partnership had occasionally grown acrimonious.

Ardoin later asked family members to help him dispose of Baker’s body. Half a dozen other people were charged with abetting the crime, according to the DA’s office.

Investigators found Baker’s nude body in a ditch near East 26th Avenue and Himalaya Road on Jan. 3.

“(Ardoin) discarded (Baker) like he was trash,” Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said in a statement. “To keep our community safe, there is only one place for dangerous, repeat felons: prison. It is a tragedy that it has taken murder to keep this one there.”

Ardoin had been convicted of felony charges, including illegally possessing a weapon, four times prior to killing Baker. He has on probation for a weapons charge at the time of the shooting.

“There is something dangerously wrong with our laws and justice system when a felon convicted four separate times, including for possessing a firearm as a felon, is yet again able to obtain a gun and shoot an innocent man in the head,” Brauchler said in his statement.