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Man sentenced to life in prison after killing man in Evans motel

Posted at 3:37 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 17:37:35-05

GREELEY, Colo. — A 31-year-old man who was convicted of murder earlier this week was sentenced to life in prison by a Weld County judge on Friday.

On Wednesday, a jury convicted Joseph Gonzales of first-degree murder in connection with the killing of Abdul Nigel Jefferies at the Rodeway Inn motel in Evans, according to the 19th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

The shooting happened in the early morning hours of Sept. 18, 2020. Officers with the Evans Police Department responded to the motel around 3:50 a.m. after receiving reports of a shooting, according to the district attorney's office.

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When they arrived, they found a man's body on a second-story balcony outside one of the rooms. The man, later identified as Jefferies, had been shot several times. He had two gunshot wounds to his head, according to the district attorney's office.

Previously, in 2012, Gonzales pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder after he shot another person. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, but served about eight. He was released from prison on April 2, 2020. Within six months, he shot and killed Jefferies, according to the district attorney's office.

During the sentencing hearing for Gonzales on Friday, Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia explained that Gonzales was out on parole for the attempted murder offense at the time of the killing at the motel.

"This was an execution and a horrific way to die," Pirraglia said. “This is exactly the reason why a life sentence is appropriate. 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.”