News Release|

On April 23, 2024, District Court Judge Ryan J. Stuart sentenced Jorge Armando Guzman, 42, to 20 years in the Department of Corrections for shooting at a sheriff’s deputy during a pursuit in Douglas County.

Around 3:45 a.m. on September 5, 2021, a deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a home in the 9700 block of Millstone Court on a “vehicle trespass” call. A homeowner told dispatchers there were two Hispanic people attempting to steal car parts. The man said when he yelled at the suspects, both fled in a white SUV.

A deputy later spotted an SUV fitting the description of the suspect vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The vehicle refused to pull over and reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. During the chase, the passenger in the SUV, later identified as Guzman, fired 5 shots at the deputy.

Jorge Guzman

The pursuit ended when the SUV crashed on the northbound I-25 off ramp for Arapahoe Rd. Guzman was captured following a brief foot chase while the driver, identified as Melinda Maldonado, 40, was taken into custody immediately.

Guzman pleaded guilty to the following offenses:

Attempted First-Degree Murder (16 years DOC)

Vehicular Eluding (2 years DOC)

Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender (2 years DOC)

“This sentence should send a very strong message to all those who think they can not only victimize the residents of Douglas County but also shoot at those who have chosen to protect and serve,” Sheriff Darren Weekly said. “Our deputies risk their lives every day. We will continue to hold the line and do what’s necessary to keep our community safe.”

All sentences imposed for Guzman will run consecutively.

“Mr. Guzman was just released from the Denver County Jail and was picked up by the co-defendant to steal catalytic converters off cars,” Senior Deputy DA Corrie Caler said. “As a felon, this defendant should not have had a gun in the first place.”

In addition to the 20-year prison sentence, Guzman will also serve 5 years of mandatory parole upon release.

“This defendant showed no regard for human life by recklessly firing multiple shots at a sheriff’s deputy doing his job,” Senior Deputy DA Jake Adkins said. “Any one of those bullets could have easily injured or killed the deputy or anyone else on the road that night.”

Co-defendant Melinda Maldonado was also sentenced on April 23, 2024 to 10 years in prison. She pleaded guilty to Motor Vehicle Theft, Vehicular Eluding and Accessory to a Crime.

Melinda Maldonado

“These defendants have no connection to the Highlands Ranch area and came down here for the sole purpose of committing crimes,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “Anyone who is willing to shoot at a deputy and drive recklessly in an attempt to get away deserves a sentence in the Department of Corrections.”


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