In June, I reported on the conviction of former Colorado police officer James Adam Ashby. Ashby was found guilty for killing 27-year old Jack Jacquez in October 2014. Ashby’s sentencing was scheduled for September 23, 2016. There was a delay in sentencing. Ashby’s attorneys tried to have the conviction overturned, claiming there was insufficient evidence to convict, errors by the court during the proceedings, and several instances of juror misconduct. The Colorado Judicial Department says the motion for a retrial was denied by a judge on October 20, 2016.
The second-degree murder conviction meant that Ashby could be sentenced up to 48 years in prison.
Today, Otero County District Court Judge Mark MacDonnell sentenced 32-year old Ashby to 16 years in prison; a $10K fine, and 5 years of parole upon his release.
An autopsy concluded that Jack Jacquez died from a single gunshot to the back that struck his spinal cord and pierced his heart and a lung. Jack was in his home, which he shared with his mother who was home at the time. Ashby had no reason to enter the house and said that he feared for his life because Jack was holding a baseball bat. At trial, prosecutors argued that even if Jack was holding a baseball bat, that Ashby’s shooting him in the back evidenced that Ashby was not in fear for his life.
Thursday night, Jack Jacquez Sr. said he was burning all of the documents he amassed in a case concerning the murder of his son. He said he was doing it to get the stress from the court proceedings off his chest.
In October 2014, his son, 27-year-old Jack Jacquez, was killed in his mom’s kitchen by Rocky Ford, Colorado police officer James Ashby. Ashby claimed that he thought Jack was a burglar. However, Jack’s mom, Viola, told The Denver Post that Ashby opened fire on her son inches from her face.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation reviewed the shooting and decided that Ashby lied about circumstances that led up to and followed the shooting, finding that many of his statements contradicted physical evidence and witness accounts. Ashby was arrested a month after he killed Jack. Ashby was charged with second-degree murder. He was also fired from his job. Read the rest of this entry
Last Sunday, James Ashby killed 27-year old Jack Jacquez in Jacquez’s home. No one knows why Ashby came to Jack’s house. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Rocky Ford Police Department have remained silent. That might be due to James Ashby being a police officer.
Jack’s family and friends say that he was shot in the back, but even that news did not come from the police but rather, from workers at the hospital where Jack was taken.
About 200 people got together in the small town of Rocky Ford, Colorado to protest, marching to the police station to get answers. Authorities aren’t talking to them. They are not even telling them what they are doing – but James Ashby is on paid vacation.
The protests pattern those in Ferguson. Yes, the nation and the world have embraced the reality that what happened to Michael Brown was wrong. “Hands up. Don’t Shoot” is being repeated in Rocky Ford, CO, and even Hong Kong, because of Michael Brown. Now, it is no longer Blacks who are marching while chanting “No Justice. No Peace.” People of every color are fed up that cops can kill, go on paid vacation, and authorities are silent, adding to the trauma and grief of victims’ families, friends, their communities – our nation.
People of all walks of life are coming together, but sadly it is because of death by cop.