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District Court Judge Jeffrey K. Holmes sentenced Agate resident Shawn Geerdes to 144 years in prison for the death of a former partner in a marijuana business and setting a fire to cover it up.
On July 19, an Elbert County jury found Geerdes, 48, guilty of the murder of Jason Dosa, 44, of Parker. Geerdes was also found guilty of setting a wildfire, a Class 3 felony, and second-degree arson, a Class 4 felony.
“This defendant took a father away from children, a husband away from a wife,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Gallo said during the Sept. 5 sentencing hearing. “Then this defendant had to obscure the evidence of what he did… He endangered an entire community in doing so. That deserves a separate consideration.”
The case began Sept. 20, 2015, when Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies were notified of a fire and found a burning car that had ignited a wildfire. Officers later found a body in the trunk, identified as Dosa. He had been shot five times.
Investigators traced Dosa's movements and found his last location at a marijuana greenhouse in Agate on land owned by Geerdes. Dosa and Geerdes had been partners in the grow operation. Bloodstains and spent shell casings found at the grow house indicated Dosa had been killed there and his body later transported to Jefferson County.
The case was tried in Elbert County and prosecuted by Gallo and Senior Deputy District Attorney Douglas Bechtel.
Holmes sentenced Geerdes to the mandatory 96 years in prison on the murder count, 48 years on the wildfire count and 24 years on the arson count. The arson and wildfire counts will be served concurrently, while the murder and wildfire counts will be served consecutively.
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