Man gets 36 years for shooting man 4 times

A 22-year-old man who pleaded guilty Thursday to his fifth felony was sentenced to 36 years in prison for shooting another man four times last year.

Robert Roy Rodriguez of Grand Junction pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the May 31, 2009, shooting of a 35-year-old resident of Chateau Apartments, 1300 N. 21st St. He pleaded guilty to a separate felony count of attempted escape.

Under a plea agreement struck with the District Attorney’s Office and accepted by District Judge Thomas Deister, Rodriguez avoided what could have added up to a life sentence. Prosecutors dismissed habitual criminal charges that carried a maximum 96 years.

“I remember dealing with you when you were a juvenile, and you’ve been in constant trouble since,” Deister said before passing sentence.

Rodriguez, who apologized to his victim, told the judge he was ready to “move on with my life.”

Rodriguez surrendered to Grand Junction police several days after the May 31 shooting, which Deputy District Attorney David Waite said was prompted by an argument over the phone between Rodriguez and his victim.

The victim, shot in the hallway of the apartment complex, was hit four times and has since told prosecutors his medical bills have topped $213,000. The victim appeared in court, aided by a walker, but declined to address the judge.

Rodriguez, at the time of the shooting, was serving parole related to a 2006 theft case in Mesa County. He was charged with attempted escape after he didn’t show for a meeting with his parole officer on June 1, the day after the shooting.

Rodriguez had prior felony convictions for first-degree burglary, carrying a concealed weapon and vehicular eluding, in addition to a juvenile conviction for possessing a firearm.

“He’s been assaultive his entire life, and nothing’s changed here,” Waite said.

Under the terms of Thursday’s agreement, prosecutors dismissed a 2009 felony case in which Rodriguez was charged with eluding a Colorado State Patrol trooper.

“Thanks for coming,” Rodriguez told family and friends, thumping his chest as he was led away by officers after the hearing. “Stay out of trouble.”


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