Parolee sentenced to life in prison for executing man at Evans motel

Published on November 18, 2022

Joseph Gonzales Mugshot - WEB.jpg

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Weld County judge imposed a life-sentence Friday morning for a man convicted of first-degree murder earlier this week.

On Wednesday, a jury convicted Joseph Gonzales, 31, of first-degree murder after he shot and killed Abdul Nigel Jefferies at the Rodeway Inn motel in Evans on September 18, 2020. Gonzales was out on parole during the time of the murder.

Evans police responded to reports of a shooting at the motel at about 3:50 a.m.

When officers arrived on scene, they found Jefferies’ body on a second-story balcony outside one of the rooms where he had been shot several times, including twice in the head.

“The victim did not deserve this,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia told the judge during the sentencing hearing Friday morning. “This was an execution and a horrific way to die.”

During Pirraglia’s sentencing argument, he advised the judge that Gonzales was out on parole for another serious and violent offense during the time of the murder.

In 2012, the defendant pled guilty to attempted second-degree murder after he shot someone. He was sentenced to 13 years in the Department of Corrections, but served about eight years of his sentence. 

Gonzales was released from prison on April 2, 2020. He then killed Jefferies less than six months after being released from DOC.

“This is exactly the reason why a life sentence is appropriate,” CDDA Pirraglia argued. “He took a life, and now it’s time for him to give his so he doesn’t have an opportunity to take any more.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia and Deputy District Attorney Travis Winter prosecuted this case. 

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