Published on December 30, 2020
A Weld County man was sentenced to more than 200 years in prison Wednesday morning for shooting at deputies and injuring one in 2018.
A Weld district court judge sentenced Ismeldo Junior Arredondo to 208 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections after a jury convicted him in October of 11 different charges, including one count of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer after deliberation.
Arredondo was also convicted of five counts of attempted first-degree murder with extreme indifference, four counts of first degree assault on a police officer, and one count of felony menacing.
In August of 2018, Weld County deputies were called to a domestic disturbance at a home on “C” Street just outside Greeley city limits.
The initial report was for a threat to property with a baseball bat. While deputies were en route, the defendant armed himself with a 12 gauge pump shotgun, forcing his family to flee the home.
When deputies arrived, the defendant’s wife begged them not to shoot the defendant. She told them the shotgun was only loaded with blanks.
While deputies were struggling to get the defendant’s wife out of the area, the defendant opened fire twice before he was wounded by a return shot.
“One of the officers was physically injured,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia said during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing. “But, the fact of the matter is, all of these officers were hurt. All of these officers will live with these emotional scars for the rest of their life.”
The deputy who was shot underwent emergency surgery and survived.
However, the defendant barely missed four other deputies and the defendant’s wife.
“These men and women have one of the toughest jobs,” Pirraglia said. “They have more risks, and less rewards and do a thankless job for the people of Weld County. They are the people that keep our community safe. What would our society look like without these brave men and women? No person should have to close their eyes at night and have this horrific event of that day replay in their heads.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Thomas Quammen said he’s not so naive to think that the sentence of 208 years he imposed for this defendant will completely stop people from shooting at law enforcement officials.
Judge Quammen went on to say that he hopes, however, that it will send a clear message to anyone who ever thinks about doing this again in Weld County.
“This has not only had an impact on law enforcement in our community, but this has even affected law enforcement throughout the country,” Judge Quammen said. “This is one of the most serious, violent crimes against law enforcement in Weld County that I can recall. If it wasn’t for the extraordinary medical care for the deputy who got shot, this would have been a first-degree murder case.”