Man guilty of second-degree murder in 2010 shooting

Robert McCleland

A Grand Junction man will be sentenced to at least 16 years in prison in the March 2010 slaying of another man, under the terms of a plea agreement struck today.

Robert McCleland, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, in addition to a sentence-enhancing crime of violence charge, in a brief hearing before District Judge Thomas Deister.

Deister can sentence McCleland anywhere from 16 to 48 years in prison under the terms of today’s agreement. The District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss all charges in the case, including first-degree murder.

McCleland was arrested March 7, 2010, in connection with the death of 27-year-old Andrew Boxa, who was shot in the head after crossing the street to intervene in a domestic dispute involving McCleland and his common-law wife in the 2500 block of Texas Avenue. An arrest affidavit said McCleland had fired a warning shot from a handgun into the ground, before McCleland took aim at Boxa’s head when Boxa refused to leave McCleland’s property.

Public defenders had tried, unsuccessfully, to raise anxiety disorder as a possible defense to the original charges in the case.

McCleland will be sentenced Aug. 29.


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