Cops: Colorado Man Delivering Divorce Papers Killed

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A man was accused of using a baseball bat to fatally beat a man who delivered divorce papers, and then choking his own two children into unconsciousness, authorities said Thursday.

The man's wife, who had filed for a divorce and obtained a restraining order, citing alleged abuse, was injured slightly during Wednesday's confrontation but refused medical attention, authorities said.

James Scott Whitler, 45, was being held without bail on charges of murder, attempted murder and child abuse, Larimer County sheriff's department.

The children, ages 10 and 12, remained hospitalized Thursday, but their conditions were not released.

Whitler's attorney, Eric Vanatta, said he had no comment.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said Stephen D. Allen, 57, had taken the divorce papers and the restraining order to Whitler's home in Loveland, about 45 miles north of Denver. Allen was a former sheriff's deputy who was working for a private company, but Campanella said she did not know the company's name.

Witnesses told police that James Whitler left the room, then returned and beat Allen with a baseball bat, Campanella said. The coroner's office said Allen died of multiple blunt- and sharp-force injuries.

Whitler's wife, Lisa, called authorities, and when deputies entered the house, they saw him choking the children, Campanella said. She said it took two Taser shots to subdue him.

Campanella said both Whitlers had contacted deputies with complaints about the other in May, but no charges were filed.