Attempted Murderer to Be Released 12 Years Early

Published on September 21, 2017

Jimmy Olivares

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) -- As he threw his car in reverse, the fear sunk in that it could be his final moment in life. In sheer panic, the man laid his foot on the pedal, trying his best to avoid the inevitable bullet that would shatter his car window and strike him in the side.

The man was trying to get away from Jimmy “Bam Bam” Olivares, a well-known gang member in Greeley with a lengthy rap sheet, including assault, domestic violence and multiple drug offenses. And on the night in question, Olivares was on a mission to kill during a drug deal gone wrong.

Fortunately, the man lived to tell the story and became the primary witness against Olivares in his attempted-murder trial in September 2005. It was in that same month, after a year of hearings, countless hours of prep and a five-day jury trial, that Olivares was found guilty of attempted murder, first-degree assault and illegal discharge of a firearm.

He was sentenced to 24 years in prison, giving the victim and the community ease of mind until the year 2029. At least on paper.

In August, the Colorado parole board decided Olivares had served enough time, that he was no longer a danger to society. He’s scheduled to be released from prison on September 27. If you’re counting, that’s about 12 years early.

Technically, he became parole eligible in December 2015. But is serving 12 years long enough for attempting to take someone’s life? For inflicting pain on another citizen? For causing terror in the community? We don’t think so, and neither did the judge who imposed the 24-year sentence.

Truth in sentencing is the idea in which criminals serve every day of their sentence. We realize the importance of parole eligibility and even give credit to those who are released for good behavior. But violent criminals, especially those repeat offenders like Olivares, should serve every day of their sentence.

He had every intention to kill his victim. He was just lucky he had bad aim.

This isn’t the first case where the parole board either used poor judgment or showed its inability to hold offenders fully responsible. And it won’t be the last. But we refuse to stand by as board members continue to jeopardize public safety. We don’t think it’s right. And neither should you.

So, from time to time, we’ll tell you about these outrageous early releases. You deserve to know what happens years after the headlines.

For more on the 2004 crime and subsequent trial, visit:

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