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.