Murder charge dismissed because of false confession

On Channel 2
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KIOWA, Colo. — A murder charge has been dismissed because investigators says their suspect gave a false confession. Daniel Pesch,35, was booked in December of 2017 after telling the Elbert County Sheriff he murdered a beloved high school teacher named Randy Wilson.

Wilson’s body was found in a ditch in a remote intersection outside Kiowa in June of 2010.

His hands had been bound, there was a white bag over his head, and a belt around his neck.

His case remained cold for 7 years until out of the blue Daniel Pesch sent a Facebook message to Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap claiming to be the killer.

Pesch was soon behind bars but later told a reporter for Colorado Community Media that he made up the confession because he had “an active imagination” and was going through a suicidal period in his life.

This afternoon Elbert County Judge Gary Kramer granted a motion by prosecutors to dismiss the murder case.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Wilcox acknowledged that besides the confession there was no corroborating evidence. No D-N-A, no motive, no physical evidence, nothing to suggest Pesch had ever even been in Elbert County before his so-called confession to investigators.

Prosecutors admitted in court that Pesch has a history of mental health issues and asked the judge to ensure he gets treatment if he gets released on bond.

Pesch remains in custody on a $10,000 bond because he still faces a charge of Attempted Escape.

On December 18, 2017, the day of his so-called confession, Pesch was being walked without handcuffs to the Elbert County Jail by Sheriff Heap and another deputy when Pesch tried to run away through a parking lot.

The attempted escaped happened just minutes after his confession that investigators no longer believe.

But when prosecutors agreed to drop the murder charge today they simultaneously struck a plea deal with Pesch to plead Guilty to the Attempted Escape charge.

He will be sentenced February 4 for that count.

He faces 1 to 4 years on that count but it’s possible he may face no more time than the 351 days he’s already sat in jail  on the now dismissed murder case.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories