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Pueblo murder case raises questions on the state’s parole system

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- New information uncovered by 13 Investigates raises questions about the effectiveness of Colorado's parole system. 

In newly released police records, an accused murderer from Pueblo claims that he knew a parole violation wouldn't keep him in jail. 

According to court records, Nicholas Tumblin had been arrested on September 13, 2021, for a parole violation. While in jail, Tumblin was questioned about the murder of Raymond "Terry" Ray Jr., whose body had been found in rural Pueblo County in August 2021.

At that time, Tumblin told detectives he was, "not in any trouble as he is only being held on a parole violation."

According to arrest documents, Tumblin added that his girlfriend only had a warrant out for a theft charge that "isn't shit."

Tumblin was eventually released on bail on September 24, 2021. Days later on September 27, Tumblin became the suspect in a double shooting that left Eric Trujillo dead and nearly killed Adam Niederstadt.

He was later arrested on October 6, 2021, in Raton, New Mexico by the U.S. Marshals Service for the 1st Degree Murder and Attempted 2nd Degree Murder.

On June 10, 2022, Tumblin was served with a Homicide Warrant for the 2021 murder of Raymond "Terry" Ray Jr.

While being questioned by detectives about Ray's death, Tumblin said he, "is not in any trouble as he is only being held on a parole violation." Tumblin told detectives this when he was being questioned for the murder of Raymond Ray in September 2021.

All three crimes, the murders of Ray and Trujillo and the attempted murder of Niederstadt were committed while Tumblin was on parole.

At the time of the crimes, Tumblin was supposed to be paroled to Greeley but was absconding, meaning his parole officer could not locate him. During the September conversation with detectives, he said: "he knew he would be transported to Weld County and get out in four days."

13 Investigates uncovered that Tumblin had 22 felony charges in four Colorado counties. The charges are for crimes including aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, and a slew of drug distribution and possession offenses among others. The arrests were in El Paso, Fremont, Crowley, and Pueblo counties.

Tumblin has seven felony convictions, earning him two six-year sentences and one eight-year sentence in El Paso County. During the interview on September 13, he told deceives that he grew up in jail.

13 Investigates reached out to the Department of Corrections on why Tumblin was only held for 11 days on a parole violation and was subsequently released. A DOC spokesperson said:

"Mr. Tumblin was originally paroled to Greeley. When he failed to report to his parole officer, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Our parole officers and the Pueblo Police arrested Mr. Tumblin on September 13th. At that time, he was questioned by the Pueblo Police, but they did not charge him with any criminal charges. Given that failure to report is a technical parole violation, parolees can be continued on parole and the Department works with the parolee to try and get them back into compliance. As part of his parole plan, Mr. Tumblin was reassigned to the Pueblo Parole Office prior to his release from county jail.  Parole officers work with parolees to help them with treatment options, housing, employment, transportation and other resources to help them stay compliant with their parole requirements."

- Department of Correction Spokesperson

Tumblin repeatedly told detectives that he wasn't cooperating with them to get out of any current charges because he felt his parole violation and his girlfriend's theft charge would not hold them in jail, and they would be released in a matter of days.

Adam Niederstadt, the owner of Sancho's Bar and Grill who nearly died after being shot, spoke exclusively to 13 Investigates last year. At that time, he questioned why Tumblin was released just days after being taken into custody for a parole violation.

"This guy gets out and then 11 days he is back out on the streets and he shoots me and kills another guy," Niederstadt said in 2021. "With parole, they need to tighten up their ship, because it is not what it used to be. Might as well not even have parole."

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Sean Rice

Sean is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO. Learn more about him here.



    1. Absolutely! Career criminals should never be granted parole under any circümstances.

  1. The predictable result of all of the Democrat “soft on crime” legislation and policies here in Colorado. If you have been voting for Democrats, these deaths are YOUR fault.

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