Teen who shot off-duty deputy sentenced to 20 years in prison

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A teenager who shot a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Jahlil Meshesha, 17, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder, a Class 3 felony, in September.

Deputy Jose Marquez was off duty on Jan. 26 when two people with handguns attacked him in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Aurora.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jose Marquez (Photo: JCSO)

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jose Marquez (Photo: JCSO)

Marquez was shot three times in his abdomen and shoulder. He returned fire, hitting Meshesha in the leg.

The attackers took off, but Mesheha was caught a short time later and investigators used forensic evidence to connect him to the shooting. The other suspect has not been identified.

Marquez is still in the process of recovering from the gunshots, the district attorney’s office said.

“We will continue to treat violent juvenile offenders seriously in this jurisdiction,” District Attorney George Brauchler said. “Committing adult crimes gets you adult prison time.  Mr. Meshesha is lucky that he was not killed in this unnecessary and malicious encounter.  The victim in this case was absolutely justified in using potentially lethal force to defend himself.”

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