Murder charges likely in beating, robbery of man, 58
A man beaten unconscious, robbed of his cellphone and cash and left on the side of a road in Grand Junction earlier this week is not expected to survive, and his alleged assailants are facing likely murder charges, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger told a judge Friday.
John Hage, 58, was still as of Friday afternoon being treated in the intensive care unit of St. Mary’s Hospital with “bleak” prospects for recovery, Hautzinger said during bond arguments.
Christopher Jompp, 34, a parolee who was reportedly under the supervision of state authorities, was ordered held at the Mesa County Jail on $100,000 bond following his arrest on a warrant for suspicion of second-degree assault in connection with Hage’s beating. He can’t post bond because of a parole hold.
Christina Padilla, 22, was ordered jailed on $7,500 bond and is being held on suspicion of robbery.
Hautzinger on Friday stressed to County Court Judge Bruce Raaum the likelihood of additional charges.
A security guard at St. Mary’s early Tuesday morning reported he was doing a routine sweep of the area when he came across a man, who had one shoe on, severely injured lying in the gravel on the west side of North Fifth Street, according to arrest warrant affidavits.
Hage, whose eyes were swollen shut and had numerous facial injuries, was sedated, intubated and unable to speak to officers on Tuesday, the affidavit said.
Officers learned Hage had a cellphone, which was tracked via GPS technology to an apartment complex in the 400 block of Chipeta Avenue.
A woman who lives in the complex, who initially denied having the phone, eventually produced it and claimed she was inside a car with Hage when he was violently assaulted.
The woman said she was dating Jompp and they met up Monday night with a guy named John, the affidavit said. They picked up another woman, Christina, whom she said she didn’t know.
“John was driving the car, Chris was sitting in the front passenger seat, Christina was sitting behind the driver,” the woman told police. “(Woman) said John was making sexual comments toward her and it was making Chris mad. (Woman) said Chris told John to shut up several times ...”
After driving around for a while — the vehicle in question had been reported stolen — Hage eventually stopped and parked.
“(Woman) said all of a sudden, Chris began punching John in the face and head with his fist. (Woman) said Chris punched John about four times directly in the face and head.”
Hage didn’t fight back, and “did not do anything to provoke the attack from Chris,” the woman told police.
“(Woman) said John must have been trying to open the driver’s door because he fell out of the car and looked like he was sleeping,” the affidavit said.
Jompp jumped in the driver’s seat, while Padilla allegedly got out of the car and rummaged through Hage’s pockets, removing several items.
They fled the area. Padilla at some point returned and checked up on Hage, confirming he was still “laying on the ground in the same place he was before.”
Jompp and Padilla were arrested on Halloween riding in the same stolen Honda where Hage was beaten, the affidavit said.
Jompp’s criminal history includes convictions for aggravated robbery, escape, motor vehicle theft and forgery.