Chuck Limbrick, Singing Juvie Killer Pardoned by Guv, Busted for Crash

Chuck Limbrick makes a cameo appearance in Dietrick Mitchell's Life Sentence Was Commuted Four Years Ago — So Why Is He Still in Prison?, Alan Prendergast's recent feature article.

Like Mitchell, Limbrick had been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole — for, in the latter's case, killing his mother when he was fifteen years old. And the sentences of both men were ultimately commuted by then-Governor Bill Ritter, with the Colorado Springs Gazette using the term "pardoned" for Limbrick.

While Mitchell remains behind bars for reasons Prendergast spells out in his article, Limbrick was set free, and appeared to be making the most of his freedom by recording a gospel album and sharing the gift of music.

Now, however, he faces more trouble with the law. He's been arrested for drunk driving and more in a crash that resulted in serious injuries.

Even before his sentence's commutation, Limbrick was making headlines for his musical talents and spiritual qualities. A 2009 article in The Grio entitled "Inmate Maestro Earns Respect in Prison" features words of praise from the prison chaplain, as well as comments of contrition from Limbrick himself.

“I loved my mother and I think of her all the time,” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t even know how to relate to the person that I was, what, 21 years ago. Wow.”

The piece adds that when he was sentenced, at the age of sixteen, he became the youngest prisoner in Colorado's prison system — but he appeared to accept what had happened to him. 

“That’s a part of my life, that’s part of my story,” he told the publication. “I’m not in prison for playing too loud in church or singing too loud in church.”

But then came a second chance, as detailed in this excerpt from Prendergast's article:
One morning Mitchell began, on impulse, to give things away. Sweatpants. Appliances. Do-rags. He even packed his bags, much to the amusement of other inmates. He ran into Chuck Limbrick, another juvie lifer, who told Mitchell he was giving away stuff, too. Not long after that, Mitchell crossed paths with Sean Taylor; Taylor said he was going through a similar divestment, on a whim and a hope. All of them were expecting something good to happen.

On a Friday night in early 2011, Mitchell caught a report on the television about Limbrick and Taylor getting their sentences commuted.
After his release, Limbrick launched a Kickstarter project to record a gospel album called Mystro; the moniker is supplemented by the inspirational subtitle  I Made It. Here's the intro on the page:
I was born with a passion for making music, at three years old I was handed my first pair of drumsticks (which looked like flag poles in my hand). By the time I was five I was playing drums for my church and by eight I was playing bass as well. My life changed forever when I was 15 and I made a mistake that would give me a life sentence in prison and I became Colorado's youngest person at an adult correctional facility.

After a couple years of being locked up, I decided that I wanted the Lord to use my life, my story, and my passion to bring glory to Him. God was able to use all three during my 23 years in prison. I was able to lead worship music for the prison ministry, sing in the prison choir, and record two Christian CD's. I was able to use my story to serve as a warning to young people as well as a testimony to God's incredible grace and redemption.

On July 1st, 2011 I was released from prison and granted clemency through the efforts of many helpful friends, attorneys, and politicians, and ultimately the Lord. I now have the freedom to use the gifts and story that God has given me to bring him glory, so I am doing what I know how to do best; going to the studio. I am in the process of recording my first studio recorded album called "I Made It" which has 11 songs that I wrote while I was in prison...but I need your help. It will cost $10,000 to finish making the album and I wanted to reach out to my fans and supporters to be a part of this project with me. I invite you to pre-order the CD or choose one of the other prize packages to help support this project. God is up to something big and I would love for you to partner with me in this. Thanks for all your support and prayers. God bless you.
The project was successful, with the amount of money raised exceeding, by just a bit, the $10,000 goal, and the recording remains available on services such as iTunes. But the latest headlines about Limbrick aren't nearly as upbeat.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Limbrick was driving a Dodge van when he hit a Chrysler Pacifica from behind while driving on Circle Drive near Alpine Drive at around 11:15 a.m. yesterday, March 4 — a time when the weather was patchy in the Springs area.

Afterward, police say he tried to flee the scene by "pushing the car through the Constitution Avenue intersection," the Gazette reports. The crash is said to have resulted in serious injuries.

Limbrick was subsequently busted on numerous counts, including suspicion of vehicular assault, driving under the influence and careless driving.

At this point, it's unclear which of the charges will stick or if Limbrick's previous conviction will weigh against him when it comes to bail or his latest trek through the justice system.

Here's the aforementioned Kickstarter video, followed by Limbrick's latest mug shots.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts