Meth dealer gets 22 years in hotel shooting

A man who reportedly told officials in a pre-sentence report that he’d regularly sold methamphetamine in Grand Junction since 2009 was sentenced today to serve 22 years in prison in connection with the shooting of a man at a Horizon Drive motel.

Joseph Lara, 27, denied shooting anyone but nonetheless pleaded guilty to first-degree assault under an agreement, exposing him to a possible prison term between 18 and 22 years. Under the deal, prosecutors dismissed an attempted first-degree murder charge, among other counts.
Lara was arrested in Denver following the shooting of 31-year-old Joseph Davis, who was shot in the stomach and arm on the morning of June 4, 2012, inside room 228 at Affordable Inns, 721 Horizon Dr. Davis survived but did not attend Tuesday’s sentencing.

Lara’s defense argued a motive for the shooting was never established — a notion disputed by a prosecutor — while suggesting the incident may have been tied to a western Colorado motorcycle gang.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel.


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