Anti-gang activist on trial for attempted murder

Posted at 12:42 PM, Sep 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-29 14:42:38-04

A well-known community activist started trial Tuesday for attempted murder. If convicted, Terrance Roberts is facing life in prison for shooting a reputed gang member in front of a Boys and Girls Club that Roberts helped bring to Park Hill.

"I was on my company's property doing a peace rally when a group of gang members came over and told me they were going to assault me," Roberts told 7NEWS before he went into court. "And when they tried it, I defended my life."

Roberts is free on bond and has kept a low-profile since the 2013 shooting that left Hasan Jones paralyzed. Jones, however, is in jail in Arapahoe County, accused of killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter in 2014.

Police said Roberts shot Jones multiple times, including at least once when he was already down. Roberts said Jones and the men he was with came for him because they thought he was working as an informant for Denver Police.

"I want the community to know I did not break the trust of the community," Roberts said. "When this incident happened I was where I was supposed to be as a business leader and a community leader setting up for a community rally. These young men accused me of working for law enforcement and they came to assault me."

Roberts was once a gang member himself, but had seemingly turned his life around and was working to do good for the community. He started an anti-gang youth organization called Prodigal Son and helped rebuild Holly Square after an arson, putting in basketball courts and helping bring in a Boys and Girls Club that was just about to open when the shooting happened.

"I'm a developer," he said. "I love working with children and I love building playgrounds. That’s really all I do. I don’t sell drugs, I don’t want to commit any crimes."

Because of Roberts' criminal past, he's being tried as a habitual offender and facing more than 100 years behind bars.

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