The man who shot and wounded a Cherry Hills Village police officer during a home invasion robbery in 2018 was sentenced to 44 years in prison.
District Attorney John Kellner was the first prosecutor on the case, and he followed it closely after his election.
“I cannot think of a more flagrant violation of the laws that hold our society together than trying to kill a peace officer,” Kellner said. “This wasn’t a robbery when no one was home. This was an invasion of a home when the perpetrators knew people were inside. And those perpetrators brought guns.
“When Officer Sack ran to the aid of that family, this defendant unloaded his clip right at the officer. We are lucky to still have Officer Sack. An incredible investigative effort brought this defendant to justice, and rightly so.”
On Aug. 20, 2018, just before 11 p.m., Alston and three accomplices entered a Cherry Hills Village home through an unlocked back door. Six people were home at the time. The four ordered members of the family around at gunpoint. Some were confined to a bathroom, and others hid. The robbers forced the family to open a safe; they stole cash and valuables.
Officer Sack responded to a 911 hang-up call at the home and interrupted the robbery. While some robbers fled, Alston shot at Sack as he entered the home.
Sack was shot twice; once in his right ankle and once in his left leg shattering his femur. The bullets narrowly missed his femoral artery. Sack returned fire, striking Alston in the hand. As Alston fled, Sack dragged himself outside and called for help.
“The reason he wanted me dead was the badge I was wearing,” Sack told the court during sentencing on Oct. 11. “Only the lowest of the low will try to kill a police officer trying to help others in their most vulnerable time. … He left me there to die.”
The District Attorney’s Office determined that Sack was justified in firing his weapon during the attack.
The family that was robbed was too traumatized to be in the courtroom with the ringleader who organized the group that terrorized them in their own home.
Sack was accompanied in court by his wife, Cherry Hills Village Police Chief Michelle Tovrea and numerous fellow officers.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Casey Brown asked the court to impose 48 years, the maximum allowed under the plea agreement.
Officer Sack “selflessly responded and entered the home. He was the only thing standing between the family and the terror of that night,” Brown told the court. “The defendant fired shots at Officer Sack without any regard for the value of his life.”
Judge White called the facts of the case “extremely aggravated.”
“The shooting of a law enforcement officer – there aren’t many crimes more aggravated. … For his valor, (Sack) was shot,” White said. “The shooting of a police officer shows great disrespect for the rules of society.”
He added: “I can’t mitigate (Alston’s) moment of decision with what I know. The defendant is left with the choices he made.”