Why Cody Jones Got 45 Years for Cash-and-Drugs Invasion at Wrong House

Cody Jones in a 2014 Facebook photo.
Cody Jones in a 2014 Facebook photo.
Facebook

Update: Cody Jones, who'll turn 21 on March 4, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for a horrifying and violent May 2016 attack on two Golden middle-school teachers during a search for cash and drugs that accidentally targeted the wrong house. And three of his cohorts, including one who was just seventeen at the time of the assault but was tried as an adult, are expected to learn their fates in the coming days and weeks.

Our previous coverage, including a blood-chilling 911 call made by Jessica Swift as her husband, Jesse, bled from serious wounds he suffered during the home invasion, has been incorporated into this post. 

At 9 p.m. on Monday, May 16, 2016, according to the Golden Police Department, officers were called to the 1900 block of Washington Avenue.

The initial report: Three men had forced their way into the home and were fighting with a male resident.

Caleb Williams.
Caleb Williams.
First Judicial District DA's office

Upon their arrival, the cops found the resident — Jesse Swift, who, like Jessica, taught at Bell Middle School — and a suspect, Caleb Williams, now 21, suffering from stab wounds.

Both were rushed to a nearby hospital — the resident in critical condition that required immediate surgery.

Jessica Swift soon provided additional information about what happened. She told investigators the couple had heard "light knocking" on their door, and when her husband answered it, the three men forced their way inside and began fighting with him as Jesse tried to defend himself with a kitchen knife.

The following 911 call made by Jessica, whose two young kids were also at home when the attack took place, conveys the terror of the situation.

A subsequent GPD release added more details, noting that "a home invasion in Golden has turned out to be a tragic case of mistaken identity. According to one suspect in custody, he and two other young males broke into a home in the 1900 block of Washington Avenue last night just before 9 p.m. They were expecting to find $10,000 in cash and drugs. However, they went to the wrong house."

On the night of the attack, a perimeter was set up in the area, but the two other suspects — Jones and Tyler Gorring, then seventeen — as well as a woman, Julia Johnson, currently nineteen, managed to get away.

However, Gorring was quickly rounded up thanks to clues found on the wounded Williams's phone, and Johnson was taken into custody on May 20. She was identified as the getaway driver in the crime.

As for Jones, he remained at large for months, finally surrendering to Golden authorities in July.

A Facebook photo of Julia Johnson.
A Facebook photo of Julia Johnson.
Facebook

After the attack, Golden police revealed that Jesse Swift had been stabbed in the kidney and suffered a punctured lung, plus other lacerations. He was also struck with a baseball bat.

During the fight for his life, the community responded with generous donations to a GoFundMe campaign launched on his behalf, and he has now fully recovered from a physical standpoint.

Meanwhile, the case against Jesse's accused assailants moved quickly. Gorring pleaded guilty on December 15, 2016, to first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and attempted aggravated robbery. Jones and Williams entered the same pleas to the same charges four days later, on December 19. And on January 3, Johnson pleaded guilty to an accessory-to-burglary count.

Jones was the first to be sentenced, and the 45 years he received is probably indicative of the punishment coming for Williams, who'll be back in court on March 10, and Gorring, due before a judge on April 28. For her part, Johnson will be sentenced on March 16.

Tyler Gorring's booking photo.
Tyler Gorring's booking photo.
First Judicial District DA's office

In a statement, First Judicial District DA Pete Weir said, "This was an extremely brutal attack. Mr. Swift suffered numerous serious injuries. We are fortunate that he survived those injuries. In this dangerous, chaotic situation, he was the hero, fighting to defend his wife and children."


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