Posted on March 5, 2013

Police: Robbers Made Off with Just $170 After Killing 5 at Fero’s Bar

Sadie Gurman, Denver Post, February 22, 2013

Three men short on cash thought they would rob a Denver bar, leave no witnesses and torch the evidence, prosecutors say.

But a fourth man with them that night was a federal informant who told Denver police within hours about the botched heist in which five people were fatally stabbed inside Fero’s Bar & Grill.

Those details emerged Friday in testimony from Denver police homicide Detective Mark Crider during a preliminary hearing for Dexter Bernard Lewis, 22; Joseph Hill, 27; and Lynell Jonathan Hill, 24, who are charged with five counts each of first-degree murder, felony murder, robbery and arson in the Oct. 17 attack.



The four-hour hearing offered new glimpses into the deaths of Young Suk Fero, 63, of Aurora; Daria M. Pohl, 21, of Denver; Kellene Fallon, 44, of Denver; Ross Richter, 29, of Overland Park, Kan.; and Tereasa Beesley, 45, of Denver. {snip}

Lynell Hill needed fast cash to cover costs of an unrelated court case, so the trio hatched a plan to rob Fero’s, Joseph Hill told Crider. He was familiar with the establishment. Fero, the bar’s owner, was Joseph Hill’s landlady. He and his brother wore Halloween masks — the Hulk and Iron Man, respectively — so that she wouldn’t recognize them, Crider testified that Joseph Hill told him.

Yet the men would make off with just $170 before fetching a gas canister from a nearby Loaf ‘N Jug and torching the business in a failed effort to destroy the evidence of their rampage, Crider said.

The fourth man with them, Demarea Harris, was an informant for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on an unrelated investigation and has not been charged in the Fero’s incident. Crider said Harris told him he got together with the trio under the pretense that they would be shooting pool and drinking beer. He said he left while the violence was erupting but later made reference to seeing bodies, Crider said.

Harris didn’t immediately report the situation to Denver police. Instead, he let the three men pick him up at a King Soopers and take him to a home, where he said he watched them try to bleach their gloves and weapons and divide the loot.

Harris told Crider he didn’t get a cut of the stolen money. But when Crider noticed cash in his pocket, he admitted that some of it came from Joseph Hill and Lewis.

Defense attorneys questioned Harris’ credibility and why he wasn’t charged with a crime.


Harris said he had gone into the bathroom when he heard a door slam. When he came out, Joseph and Lynell Hill were inside wearing masks and the trio were ordering people to the floor, demanding their wallets and credit cards. Joseph Hill started looting the registers, Crider said.

Lewis “just stabbed people over and over and over again,” while the brothers held the patrons at gunpoint. Harris said he and Joseph Hill passed the knife back and forth and that he told Joseph Hill to kill Fero because “they couldn’t have any witnesses,” Crider said. Joseph Hill bent down and slit her throat.

Once the four had reconvened, Lewis’ girlfriend took him and Harris home. As they parted ways, Lewis kissed him, told him he loved him and “told him ‘blood in, blood out,’ “ Crider said.