Man gets 34 years in robbery, kidnapping

A judge Thursday praised a quick-thinking Grand Junction liquor store clerk while sentencing a man to 34 years in prison for a related robbery and kidnapping in October.

Casey Martinez, 31, managed to elude 30-year-old Daniel Washington the night of Oct. 21, 2009, which was after she kept alive a video record of Washington’s crime, fooling her assailant in the process.

“That was a brave thing to do,” District Judge Thomas Deister told Martinez.

Deister’s sentence was the maximum term available to the judge under the terms of a deal struck by the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office. The agreement called for dismissal of habitual-criminal charges which, combined with other counts, could have added up to a prison sentence of 80 years.

Washington pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree kidnapping and aggravated robbery, related to an incident that started with a robbery and Martinez’s kidnapping at Last Chance Liquor Store, 1203 Pitkin Ave., and ended in the predawn hours of Oct. 22 in Parachute.

Washington late Oct. 21 walked into Last Chance Liquor Store, threatened to “blast” Martinez, stole cash from the register and moved her into a back room, where Washington ordered Martinez to disable the store’s video surveillance.

Martinez turned off a video monitor, but the system’s cameras kept rolling inside and outside the store, unknown to Washington.

Washington then forced Martinez into her car and headed east on Interstate 70, stopping at a Cameo gas station. Washington parked the car, walked inside a store for food around the time that Martinez grabbed a spare set of keys in the car’s console and took off.

Feigning he had a gun, Washington then stole a truck owned by 33-year-old Chris Fletcher. Fletcher and his dog jumped from the truck as Washington was trying to get the vehicle up to speed to merge with I-70 eastbound traffic.

Washington was arrested around 2:30 a.m. Oct. 22 in a parking lot in Parachute.

An apologetic Washington on Thursday said he was trying to get to Denver that night, saying he’s been battling a drug problem since age 17.

At the time of the incident, Washington was staying at Grand Junction’s Rescue Mission, leading Bible study and prayer groups, attorney John Burkey told the judge. Deister wasn’t impressed by Washington’s demonstration of faith.

“This is not the type of behavior you expect from someone who believes in Jesus,” the judge said.

Thursday’s sentence marks Washington’s third trip to prison and the third state in which he’ll serve a prison sentence.

At the time of the Grand Junction incident, Washington was on probation in Mississippi, where authorities arrested him in 2006 for burglarizing the home of a local police officer.


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