Shotgun blast at Giberson Ranch results in jail time for Summit County man
A man accused of firing a shotgun at a Summit County resident was sentenced Monday in Summit County District Court.
Matthew Guy Ward, 42, was sentenced to five years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of felon in possession of a firearm, a Class 6 felony, motor vehicle theft, a Class 4 felony, and third-degree criminal trespass, a Class 5 felony.
Ward was arrested in May at a campsite on Giberson Ranch property north of Frisco after firing his shotgun in the vicinity of a passerby who was walking his dog. The charges of motor vehicle theft and trespassing were added after Ward was in custody and it was discovered that he was a suspect in another criminal investigation going back to 2012.
Ward received one year in DOC on the firearm possession charge and two years each for the motor vehicle theft and criminal trespassing charges. The sentences, handed down by 5th Judicial District Judge Mark Thompson, will be served concurrently.
Prior to sentencing, Ward addressed the court and asked Thompson for leniency in his sentencing by citing recently discovered health problems. Ward went into graphic detail about his health woes and charged Summit County Jail personnel with denying him access to lifesaving medical treatment.
“For about the last six months I have been living in cruel and tortuous conditions at the Summit County Jail,” Ward said. “I am hoping you (Thompson) will end my pain and suffering and allow me to seek the medical treatment, tests and surgery I need.”
John Franks, Summit County deputy district attorney, told the court the people would be seeking a maximum DOC sentence due to Ward’s extensive criminal history — which included felony convictions for similar crimes in Indiana and Mississippi. He was only more inclined to seek the maximum after hearing Ward’s statement.
“At no point did I hear any remorse for the victim in this case,” Franks said. “All I heard was me, me, me.”
Despite Ward’s request for leniency and his account of the treatment he received while in custody at Summit County Jail, Thompson said he was bound by the law to rule based on the facts of the case.
“I’m aware of your concerns about the care you received in Summit County Jail and it’s disappointing you are in a position where you still feel hopeless, but unfortunately that is not something for me to bear in consideration in this sentence,” Thompson said. “I have to consider your criminal history, the similarities of the offenses and whether or not you are a high risk of offending.”
Ward was credited with 150 days for the time he served in Summit County Jail and also was ordered to pay applicable court costs. He was represented by public defender Carolin Lopez.
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