Aurora man sentenced to 58 years in 2017 murder case

An Aurora man described as a drug dealer was sentenced Thursday to 58 years in prison for fatally shooting another man during a party at Cherry Creek State Park two years ago.

Joseph Wayne Washington, 31, was sentenced for the Aug, 13, 2017 death of 26-year-old Jackson Lee Chavez.

In March, a jury found Washington guilty of second-degree murder. The jury also found Washington guilty of witness tampering and numerous counts of possession of drugs with the intent to distribute.

Chavez was at a barbeque and got into an fight with another man. Washington witnessed this then got a gun from his backpack and shot Chavez twice.

After the murder, Washington ran from the scene, ditched his vehicle, got rid of the gun and made plans to leave town.

Investigators from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office interviewed witnesses, tracked Washington down and arrested him.

Members of Chavez’s family addressed the court during sentencing.

“For me, there will be no parole or release date,” his mother said in a statement. “I see (Jackson’s) neck and his chest, knowing that two different bullets shattered every major organ in his body. I imagine how he looked contorting and writhing in pain as he gasped for air and choked on his own blood. And I wonder how his face looked as he died. That is how it ends for him. And that is what is stamped over every memory I have.”

She added, “I believe (Washington) is a dangerous person. He should not be allowed to cause this kind of pain to anyone else.”

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