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Courts/Crime

  • Grand jury indicts sheriff's sergeant for sexual-contact crimes

    The 17thJudicial District grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Adams County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Benson.

    Benson faces one count of sexual assault, a felony, and five counts of unlawful sexual conduct, all of which are misdemeanors. His first court appearance was Jan. 17, and Benson is due back in court at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. The indictment says the sexual contact charges involved one victim and took place between Feb. 11 and July 3.

    Benson won a departmental award in 2015 for physical fitness.

  • Deputies searching for attempted murder suspect

    The Adams County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a 21-year-old man who removed his ankle monitor.

    Deshawn Avila-Baros, who was out of jail on bond, was awaiting trial for attempted first-degree murder, sexual assault and assault. Deputies said the monitor was a condition of his bond as part of the supervised release program. 

  • Man draws 48-year prison sentence in shooting death

    Joseph Michael Lopez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 48 years in prison Dec. 3 in the shooting death of 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger last year.

  • Life sentence for Henderson murder suspect

    An Adams County District Court judge sentenced a 39-year-old man to life in prison for a shooting in Henderson almost a year and a half ago. 

    A jury convicted Christopher Toney in the fall in the shooting death of  Christopher Stockwell, 34. The incident happened in the 9900 block of East 113th Avenue.

    The judge, Mark Warner, sentenced Toney to life in prison without prole for first-degree murder and criminal trespass. 

  • Former chamber president draws 10 years probation

     The former president of the Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce drew 10 years’ probation for embezzlement.

    Holly Hansen also has to pay $112,000 plus interest in restitution for the money she stole from the chamber and the city of Brighton during her employment. Sentencing was Nov. 14.

  • AdCo sheriff candidates spar over staffing, strategy

     This year’s race for Adams County Sheriff is a rematch, with current sheriff Mike McIntosh once again facing former employee Rick Reigenborn for control of the office.

    McIntosh has enjoyed what he characterizes as a successful first term in office, completing a “180-degree turnaround” in the reputation and efficiency of the office.

  • Officials break ground on new juvenile detention facility

    The Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Youth Services broke ground Oct. 3 on a new juvenile detention facility in the 100 block of Bromley Business Parkway to replace the current Adams Youth Services Center, which serves detained juveniles between the ages of 14 and 21 in Adams and Broomfield counties. 

    The new, 32,800-square-foot, 40-bed facility increases the department’s capacity to serve the 17th Judicial District, which officials claim contains one of the state’s fastest-growing juvenile populations. 

  • Vehicle sought in fatal hit-and-run crash

     Brighton investigators are seeking help from the public in locating a vehicle that fled the scene of a fatal hit-and-run crash which killed a pedestrian in Brighton on Sept. 19 at about 7:30 p.m.

  • Brighton man charged with sexual assault on a child

    Police authorities announced Sept. 13 that a Brighton man has been arrested and charged with sexual assault on a child following an investigation by the Commerce City-Brighton Sexual Assault Task Force.

    Sept. 10, detectives from the task force 21-year-old Victor Lee Merritt into custody. Due to the age of the victim, authorities are withholding further details on the case for the time being.

    Brighton authorities reminded the public that the charges are merely accusations, and the accused should be considered innocent until and unless convicted in a court of law.

  • Woman killed; suspect on the run

     Brighton police would like to talk to a man about a homicide that occurred early Sept. 20.

    In a press statement, police said they are looking for 33-year-old Ryan Johnson, of Brighton, in connection with the case.

    Spokesman John Bradley said officers went to a disturbance at the Eastgate mobile home park about 4:45 a.m. When they arrived, they found a woman in her 30s who had been killed. The suspect got away.