Robbery Lawyer: Colorado Jefferson County Robbery Suspects Likely Received Habitual Sentences
A Jefferson County District Court recently sentenced two of three men involved in the Robbery of several Colorado Banks. The men were known by the nickname Scream Robbers based on the masks they wore during the robberies. On December 18, 2016, the first of the three received a sentence of 371 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Then, yesterday, the judge gave another man 1,200 years for his role in the robberies. Perhaps he was the more violent of the robbers, or perhaps he had the more extensive criminal history. The lengthy sentences likely involved habitual sentence counts, where the court is authorized to multiply the normal maximum sentence range based on the person’s previous felony criminal history.
Habitual Sentences: How do They Work in Denver and Adams County, Colorado?
Colorado has a “little” habitual sentence law and a “big” habitual sentence law. Colorado’s “little” habitual offender law provides that if you have two prior felony convictions in Adams County that were separately brought and tried from separate and distinct events, and you are then convicted of a Class 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 felony, within 10 years of the previous two felonies, you can be labeled an habitual offender. This classification mandates that you must be sentenced on the new criminal offense to triple the maximum sentence for the presumptive range for the most recent crime. The “big” habitual label comes for those who are convicted of their fourth felony of any kind (which implies three priors at any time). Big habitual offenders in Denver are required to receive four times the highest sentence possible in the normal “presumptive” range. In this particular case, at least one of the robbery suspects was convicted of kidnapping, with a presumptive sentence range maximum of 24 years. Imagine multiplying that by four, and you can see how a person can get 96 years for just one count.
Aggravated Robbery Charges Add Up Quickly in Arapahoe County, Colorado, C.R.S. 18-4-302
The Attorney’s Definition of Aggravated Robbery in Colorado is:
(1) A person who commits robbery is guilty of aggravated robbery if during the act of robbery or immediate flight therefrom:
(a) He is armed with a deadly weapon with intent, if resisted, to kill, maim, or wound the person robbed or any other person; or
(b) He knowingly wounds or strikes the person robbed or any other person with a deadly weapon or by the use of force, threats, or intimidation with a deadly weapon knowingly puts the person robbed or any other person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or
(c) He has present a confederate, aiding or abetting the perpetration of the robbery, armed with a deadly weapon, with the intent, either on the part of the defendant or confederate, if resistance is offered, to kill, maim, or wound the person robbed or any other person, or by the use of force, threats, or intimidation puts the person robbed or any other person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or
(d) He possesses any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead any person who is present reasonably to believe it to be a deadly weapon or represents verbally or otherwise that he is then and there so armed.
The Scream Robbers likely met each of these subsections in one way or another at their multiple robberies.
Example of Habitual Sentence for a Robbery Convict in Douglas County and Denver, Colorado
Let’s take an example of Robber #1. Imagine he has three prior felonies at any time in his life, so he is a “big” habitual offender. Consider that he robbed three banks in Douglas County, and each bank had only ten people there, for simplicity sake. Each of those people could be a “victim” of robbery.
3 bank robberies X 10 people at each bank = 30 counts (this does not include other charges against the men for shooting one woman, beating others, threats with guns, kidnapping, etc.). Just one Aggravated Robbery count for a Denver habitual offender can get them sentenced to 16 years (the upper in the presumptive range) X 4, due to the habitual multiplier. That gets us to 64 years. Now, multiply that times 30 victims, and you get 1920 years. As you can see, the numbers rise very quickly. Once they exceed a lifetime, some district attorneys are willing to plea bargain and reduce the sentence or number of counts.
Violent Crime with Habitual Sentences in Jefferson County with Many Victims = Big Sentencing Numbers
Since these three men were likely convicted of many counts of Aggravated Robbery in Jefferson County (each person threatened or hurt as victims in a busy bank), and since they likely had many prior felonies, we can reasonably speculate they are getting sentenced to four times the maximum, many times over.
If you or a loved one might be adjudicated an Habitual Offender in Colorado, call our criminal defense lawyers 24/7 to begin your defense. You don’t have a moment to lose, as police have begun talking to witnesses and poisoning their minds. Our investigators are ready to begin talking with witnesses favorable to your side of the story. Call for a Denver Jail visit at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net – jk1991