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Colorado Springs police search for shooting suspect

Late last week, Colorado Springs police issued an arrest warrant for a man they suspect of shooting and killing another man outside of an apartment building in the north-central part of town.

The 41-year-old man is suspected of first-degree murder in the shooting on Tremont Street.

A woman who works at the nearby Dairy Queen told the Colorado Springs Gazette that five members of a family were eating outside on the patio when a fight broke out in the parking lot.

She said gunshots were heard soon after.

Another woman on the scene said she saw a man with a head wound lying face down on the pavement. She administered CPR, as did rescue workers who arrived soon afterwards, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The wife of the man who died claims it was her ex-boyfriend who pulled the trigger, killing her husband.

Clearly, the accused in this case faces the possibility of the ultimate punishment in Colorado: the death penalty.

After his arrest, he will be charged with a first-degree murder, which is a Class One felony that has a presumptive minimum sentence upon conviction of life in prison. The presumptive maximum is the death sentence.

The suspect in this case is fully entitled to a presumption of innocence, of course.

But in similar cases in which the state obtains a conviction, aggravating and mitigating factors are to be considered by the court as it ponders a sentence.

If a defendant was on probation for a previous offense, for instance, that could be considered an aggravating factor. If the defendant has no prior record, that could serve as a mitigating factor.

All of this should be discussed in far greater detail with a criminal defense lawyer who understands the law and has experience in successfully defending people from charges of homicide and other violent crimes.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette: "Arrest warrant issued for suspect in fatal shooting" by Jakob Rodgers: Sept. 23, 2011

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