Convicted Leadville murderer Matthew James Haley sentenced to 36 years
June 28, 2017
Matthew James Haley, 30, was sentenced to 36 years in prison on Wednesday, June 28 for the stabbing murder of 31-year-old Jordan Gausman outside the Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville on May 2, 2016.
Haley pleaded guilty to second-degree murder earlier this year on April 25. District Court Judge Mark Thompson also sentenced Haley to a concurrent 4-year prison term for an "assisting escape" charge in which Haley had aided another inmate with an attempted escape from the Lake County Jail in January.
Gausman and Haley were both patrons at the Silver Dollar and had been talking amicably the night of the incident. Eventually, however, Haley became inexplicably agitated towards Gausman, according to a news release from the Distirct Attorney's Office.
While Haley was paying for his beer, he pushed and struck Gausman on his chest and head and "invited" him outside, the release said. Haley later attacked Gausman without warning outside of the bar, punching him repeatedly in the face, knocking him to the ground and kicking him. While Gausman tried to stand up, Haley held him down, pulled a knife from a leg sheath and fatally stabbed him. Haley then fled the scene, prompting an intense manhunt.
Gausman was taken to St. Vincent hospital in Leadville and then airlifted to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, where he died. Haley turned himself in to the Conejos County Sheriff's Office May 7, 2016.
"This killing shocked and outraged our small Leadville community," District Attorney Bruce Brown said in the release. "We express our condolences to Jordan's friends and family who will forever be saddened by his death and never forget the joy that he brought through his good nature."