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Judge imposes maximum prison sentence on Greeley man convicted of killing father of 2

Posted at 10:51 AM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 12:53:07-05

GREELEY, Colo. — A Greeley man was sentenced to 60 years in prison after he was found guilty of shooting and killing a man during a riot in 2020, according to the 19th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Michael Hernandez, 23, was found guilty of second-degree murder and engaging in a riot in late February.

The charges stemmed from Oct. 29, 2020, when officers with the Greeley Police Department responded around 3 a.m. to a shooting in an alley along the 1100 block between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Once they arrived, they found a man on the ground, which was bloody. The officers also found a handgun nearby. The victim was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. He was later identified as Maurice Maestas.

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According to an obituary for Maestas, he was 27 years old and lived in Greeley. He was the father to two girls, 10 and 3.

Hernandez was located and arrested in connection with the crime. He was on probation for a 2018 burglary case. In 2017, he had pleaded guilty in an attempted first-degree murder case.

The details on the riot were not available.

In February, he was sentenced to 60 years — the maximum sentence — in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

“It’s clear from his consistent, violent behavior, that this defendant has zero respect for human life or for the law,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Anthony Perea. “This was completely senseless and has destroyed so many lives. Though nothing will bring back our victim, we hope this lengthy prison sentence will send a clear message to the community that we absolutely will not tolerate this type of senseless behavior.”

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