Man accused of 2020 homicide in Auburn is released from prison

An Auburn man who had spent two years behind bars for killing a man at Brennan Park in June 2020 was released from prison on Dec. 9.

Weeks earlier, a jury found that David Villalobos-Denning, 22, had been defending himself when he shot Hiram Figueroa on June 20, 2020, and that his use of force was lawful.

Where a defendant claims self-defense, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the claim is not true, and in this instance the jury found that prosecutors had not met this burden.

As a felon previously convicted for second-degree assault and first-degree rape of a child, Denning’s possession of a firearm had earlier been found in violation of his Department of Corrections conditions for active supervision that made him a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court records, here is what happened.

According to the records, Figueroa’s two daughters — ages 20 and 17 — and a 16-year-old girl who was a family friend, had gotten into a fight with an 18-year-old girl, a 20-year-old man, and Villalobos-Denning near the south side of Cascade Middle School on June 17, 2020.

According to records, during that fight, Villalobos-Denning kicked Figueroa’s 17-year-old daughter and the family friend in the face.

On June 18, according to the records, the three girls began to get calls and messages via social media from the 18-year-old girl they’d been in the fight with, and possibly another girl, a 17-year old. In messages, the 18-year-old allegedly challenged Figueroa’s daughters to a “legit” fight, a one-on-one. According to what the three girls later told police, they had been warned that if they refused, someone would “shoot up” their house.

According to records, the plan was for the three to drive to the park, but Figueroa and his wife were against that. The final decision was that the entire group would go to the park and settle the quarrel between the girls without actually fighting.

According to records, the two opponents of the three girls and other teens and males between 16- and 22-years-old were already there when Figueroa’s daughters and their friend arrived. According to police, Figueroa’s daughters began fighting the other two girls on the east side of the brick bathroom and closed concession area as people watched.

According to records, upon learning who had kicked her daughter and the young family friend in the face the night before, Mrs. Figueroa walked over to Villalobos-Denning, confronted him about the previous fight and told him he shouldn’t be hitting girls.

Mrs. Figueroa later told police that Villalobos-Denning did not say anything, but produced a handgun, pointed it at her face and told her to “back up,” according to records. At that point, the 16-year-old family friend stepped in between them and escorted the mother away from Villalobos-Denning.

According to police, Mr. Figueroa, alerted to what had just happened, confronted Villalobos-Denning and called him names for what he had just done. At that point, the elder Figueroas and Villalobos-Denning moved apart, while the two girls continued to fight

According to the account, to stop the fight, Mr. Figueroa walked over and pushed the girl who was on his daughter off of her. At this point, as several people later told police, they saw Villalobos-Denning come from the northeast at about 20 feet away, pull out a handgun and shoot Mr. Figueroa while he was still trying to stop the fight. One person described being about 10 feet behind Figueroa and watching as Villalobos-Denning fired and continued shooting him, even as he was falling to the ground. According to Mrs. Figueroa, Villalobos-Denning then gave the gun to another guy and the two ran off to the east.

Although an Auburn Police Sergeant tried to control Figueroa’s bleeding, Figueroa later died in the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center.