GJ man is guilty in killing

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 reached Monday.

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 could sentence McCleland from 16 to 48 years in prison under the terms of the plea agreement. McCleland was ordered held without bond at the Mesa County Jail.

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.

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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