Judge sentences Colo. man to 55 years for assault with intent to murder

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DENVER – A Colorado man has been sentenced to 660 months (55 years) in federal prison for assault with intent to commit murder and other assault and weapon charges.

Matthew Dewayne Jaramillo, 30, of Towac, was sentenced earlier this week by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn. Jaramillo was also ordered to spend 5 years on supervised release when and if he completes his prison sentence.

On April 30, 2012 a federal grand jury in Denver indicted Jaramillo and on December 3, 2012 the grand jury returned a superseding indictment.

Judge Blackburn held a jury trial in Durango on May 13. At the conclusion of the trial, Jaramillo was found guilty of assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, felon in possession of a firearm, and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Jaramillo was found not guilty of one count, and a second count was dismissed by the prosecution prior to trial.  An additional count charged in the superseding indictment was determined to be a sentencing enhancement instead of an individual count.

Court records show that on February 17, Jaramillo’s girlfriend purchased a .45 caliber handgun in Cortez, Colorado. Jaramillo, a convicted felon, was prohibited from buying firearms. Jaramillo took his girlfriend to acquire the gun, which she then provided to Jaramillo.

While partying at a friend’s house on March 6, Jaramillo and three others were using methamphetamine, police said. The home was located on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation.

As is common among methamphetamine users, the drug caused Jaramillo to become paranoid according to police reports. Jaramillo then pulled out the .45 caliber handgun, and while pointing it at two of the house guests, began to pat both people down, asking which one was the “snitch.”

Police say after, Jaramillo shot Wilson Ben Jones, Jr. The first shot hit Jones in the center of his chest with the bullet passing through his sternum and damaging organs, muscle and tissue. Jaramillo then fired a second shot which struck Jones in the upper abdomen.

At this point Jones dropped to the floor. A bit later Jones tried to move and was shot a third time by Jaramillo, this time in the left hip.

It was nearly two hours before EMT’s arrived on the scene to find Jones lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood. The surgeon who treated Jones said the man suffered injuries that would be fatal if left untreated.  Jones also went through hip replacement surgery.

On March 7, Jaramillo was spotted in Cortez. After failing to obey police commands to surrender, Jaramillo led police on a foot pursuit through Cortez. After failing to stop Jaramillo with a Taser, an officer was able to tackle and subdue Jaramillo.

Police removed a loaded .45 caliber gun from Jaramillo, along with an extra loaded magazine and 23 loose rounds of .45 caliber ammunition.

“The lengthy sentence handed down today is wholly just and necessary in light of the mindlessly violent crimes Jaramillo committed,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  “The 660 month sentence fits this defendant’s criminal conduct.  He will remain in prison for decades in order to protect the community.”

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