Colorado jury convicts man in killing of sheriff’s deputy

Colorado News

In this undated photo by the Adams County, Colo. Sheriff’s Office and released on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 shows Dreion Dearing. Prosecutors have charged Dearing with multiple first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of a sheriff’s deputy. (Adams County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado jury on Thursday convicted a man in the killing of a sheriff’s deputy in 2018.

Dreion Dearing, 24, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder and felony murder of a peace officer.

Dearing also was convicted of first-degree burglary. 

Prosecutors said Dearing shot 31-year-old Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm when the deputy tried to stop him for questioning because he matched the description of a suspect in an assault and burglary nearby. 

Dearing’s public defenders argued their client was attempting to run away when he shot Gumm in self-defense after the deputy fired the initial shot. Authorities said Dearing shot first.

Dearing’s attorneys argued that a pattern of racial discrimination wrongly skewed the legal system against their client, who is Black, the Denver Post reported.

Prosecutors denied that racial bias played a part in the case.

“This case is not about race,” 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young told the jury during closing arguments. “This is about his actions. And I don’t care who is sitting at that table. Whatever that person’s actions are, they should be held accountable for those actions. He’s guilty.”

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