Man guilty of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at officer

Published on July 09, 2021

James Nicholson Web Mug.jpg

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) -- An Aurora man is facing several decades in prison after a Weld County jury found him guilty last week of shooting at an officer during a high-speed chase last year.

James Nicholson, 51, was convicted last week of: attempted second-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, vehicular eluding, and possession of a controlled substance.

On July 11, 2020, officers were called to an apartment on 10th Street in Greeley where a resident reported that a man matching Nicholson's description had a gun and was trying to get into their apartment.

When officers arrived, they saw Nicholson walking away from the apartment complex. They attempted to make contact with him, but he took off running.

As officers got closer to catching up with him, he turned around and sprayed the two officers with bear mace, which is similar to pepper spray. The officers said they couldn’t see and were having difficulty breathing.

When additional backup officers arrived on scene, Nicholson then got into a vehicle and took off, taking officers on a high-speed chase throughout Greeley.

At one point while officers were chasing Nicholson, one of the officers saw the rear window of the defendant’s vehicle shatter. He then heard multiple gunshots and saw between eight to 10 muzzle flashes coming from the interior of Nicholson’s vehicle.

Multiple outside agencies assisted Greeley police officers during the chase as the defendant drove through multiple cities and two counties. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office was able to immobilize Nicholson’s vehicle just north of Clydesdale and Crossroads Boulevard in Loveland.

An additional court date has been set for September 2 at 1:30 p.m. where a judge will decide whether Nicholson is guilty of a habitual offender charge.

If he’s convicted of being a habitual offender, he could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wrenn and Deputy District Attorney Andrew Rogers prosecuted this case.

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