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Man gets two life sentences for 2015 double homicide in rural Weld

Posted on 06/28/2018
Samuel Pinney MugshotGREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – An Oklahoma man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after a jury convicted him Wednesday of a 2015 double homicide in rural Weld County.

Thursday morning, a Weld County judge handed down two life without parole sentences to Samuel Pinney, 36, for his role in the murders.

Pinney, along with several others, are accused of planning and taking part in a marijuana-smuggling killing that left Joshua Foster and Zach Moore’s bodies scorched in a flaming truck in rural Weld County on October 17, 2015. Both victims were also from Oklahoma.

Investigators believe Pinney and his half-brother, Jack Larkin, set up a fake drug deal to lure Foster to Colorado to buy the marijuana he would take back and sell in Oklahoma. They believe Pinney and Larkin then planned to rob Foster and ultimately kill him.

Moore was with Foster at the time of the fake deal and was also killed.

“We will never get to hug our child again,” Foster’s mother, Teresa Daniels-Young told the court Thursday morning at the sentencing hearing as she wiped tears from her face. “That’s something no parent should ever have to face. It is not acceptable to lose a child, especially to murder.”

During her testimony in the two-and-a-half week long jury trial, Samantha Simmons, Pinney’s girlfriend at the time of the murders, described in detail to jurors what she remembered the night of the crimes.

She told the jury she remembers seeing Pinney and Larkin bring the bodies wrapped in rugs to Foster’s truck after the shooting happened.

She testified that Pinney made her follow him in her car as he drove to a field in rural Weld County where he then lit the bodies and truck on fire.

“The planning, the robbery, the murder, burning, lying and cover up. From the beginning, this was a crime created out of evil,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wrenn said at the sentencing hearing Thursday morning. “This was his goal and he accomplished that goal. He did everything he possibly could to hide his crimes and avoid this day.”

Before Weld District Court Judge Thomas Quammen handed down a sentence, he told Pinney that he deserved the maximum penalty for the crimes he was convicted of.

“Human lives are more valuable than marijuana,” Judge Quammen said to Pinney. “Human lives are more important and more valuable than the profits of illegally selling this stuff. I think in your own mind you probably thought you got away with it. You almost did get away with it, but you didn’t.”

Judge Quammen handed down two life sentences without the possibility of parole for the two counts of First Degree Murder Pinney was convicted of. Pinney was also sentenced to 12 years in the Department of Corrections for Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Robbery and 12 years in DOC for Second Degree Arson. Both sentences are ordered to be served consecutive to his life in prison sentences.

He was also sentenced to one year in jail for each count of Abuse of a Corpse charge. These sentences will run concurrent to his life in prison sentence.

“There are now holes left in these two victims’ families that will never be filled,” Wrenn said.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wrenn and Deputy District Attorney Arynn Clark prosecuted this case.

CO-DEFENDANTS

Samantha Simmons – Plead guilty to Accessory to Crime on April 28, 2017. She was sentenced to four years supervised probation.

Jordan Johnson- Plead guilty to Menacing on May 31, 2018. He was sentenced to two years in the Department of Corrections.

Nathaniel Youngman – Plead guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Robbery on October 27, 2016. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

WHAT’S NEXT:

A jury trial is scheduled to begin on September 4 for Jack Larkin. Larkin is charged with:

MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE – AFTER DELIBERATION – (F1)
MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE – AFTER DELIBERATION – (F1)
MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE – FELONY MURDER – (F1)
MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE – FELONY MURDER – (F1)
AGGRAVATED ROBBERY (F3)
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT AGGRAVATED ROBBERY (F4)
CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE MARIJUANA (DF2)