Man pleads guilty to murder in 2016 Leadville stabbing
Matthew James Haley, 30, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder for fatally stabbing 31-year-old Jordan Gausman during a fight outside the Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville on May 2, 2016.
A sentencing hearing has been set for June 28, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in Lake County District Court, where he will face a sentence of between 30 and 40 years in prison, according to a news release.
Gausman and Haley were both patrons in the Silver Dollar Saloon and had been talking at the bar when Haley became inexplicably agitated towards Gausman, the release said.
While Haley was paying for his beer, he pushed and struck Gausman on his chest and head and “invited” him outside the bar. Gausman paid his tab shortly after, and he and a friend left the bar. Haley attacked Gausman without warning moments later, punching him repeatedly in the face and knocking him to the ground, according to the release.
While Gausman tried to stand up, Haley held him down and pulled a knife from a leg sheath, stabbing Gausman on his left side before fleeing the scene, initiating an intense manhunt.
Gausman was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville and then eventually airlifted to St. Anthony’s Hospital, where he died shortly after his arrival. Haley turned himself in to the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office May 7, 2016.
“Today’s plea of guilty is a step towards closure and part of the community grieving for the loss of Jordan Gausman, who was a friend of our small Leadville community,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said in the release. “The appreciation of the community goes out to the Leadville Police Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation for their collaborative efforts in this investigation.”
The plea agreement resulted in a dismissal of a first-degree murder charge. Haley also pleaded guilty in a separate felony case in which he assisted another inmate in the Lake County Jail with their attempt to escape from the facility on January 12.
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