Death penalty sought against man accused of killing Adams County sheriff’s deputy

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- The Adams County district attorney will seek the death penalty in a case against the man accused of fatally shooting Adams County Sheriff's deputy Heath Gumm, it was announced Tuesday.

“I’ve given it a lot of thought and a lot consideration, and i feel like it's the right thing to do," Adams County District Attorney Dave Young said.

Dreion Martise Dearing, 22, is formally charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count each of first-degree burglary, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and third-degree assault.

Young said, “As we sit here today the death penalty is on the books, and the death penalty is used for cases that deserve the maximum penalty in the sate of Colorado. I took an oath to follow the law, and I’m following the law as it is today.”

The decision to seek the death penalty was up to Young. He said, “We talked to the family, talked to my trial team, I’ve done three death penalty cases, I reflected back on my experience on those cases, also listened to the mitigation the defense has given us, given that quite a bit of weight.”

Young wouldn't talk about how the family feels about the death penalty. He did say they understand and appreciate the process.

Deputy Heath Gumm was shot after responding to a report of an assault in progress about 7 p.m. Jan. 24 in the 8700 block of Dawson Street.

Adams County sheriff's deputy Heath Gumm was shot and killed on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (Family photo)Gumm was taken to Denver Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

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