Man, 18, pleads guilty in random shooting spree
A teenager who randomly shot at strangers with a rifle around Clifton and Fruitvale late last year could be sentenced up to 64 years in prison under the terms of a plea agreement.
Aaron Plotner, 18, of Grand Junction, pleaded guilty Monday morning to attempted first-degree murder, second-degree assault causing bodily injury, in addition to a sentence-enhancing crime of violence charge. Plotner will receive a prison term between 21 and 64 years during a sentencing hearing before District Judge Richard Gurley, which is scheduled for Aug. 24.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Plotner is not eligible to serve his time in Colorado’s Youthful Offender System, a boot-camp-style juvenile alternative to adult prison.
Gurley on Monday ordered Plotner to be held without bond at the Mesa County Jail before sentencing.
Authorities charged Plotner as the triggerman who used a rifle during a five-day shooting spree starting Christmas Eve, targeting vehicles, homes, and at least two men, including 29-year-old Matthew Daly who was shot through the shoulder in the area of 32 ½ Road and Lucile Avenue while walking home from a bar on Dec. 29.
Plotner told a Mesa County Sheriff’s Department investigator he took aim at Daly because he “looked like a bad person,” adding he didn’t care if the man lived or died, according to an arrest affidavit.
Plotner took aim at his victims while riding as a passenger in a Saturn driven by 18-year-old Darian Kintz, who faces a 15-year prison sentence next month.
The affidavit said Plotner was upset with Kintz for speeding away from the scene of Daly’s shooting because he wanted to watch a man die.