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The Last Juvie to Face Life?

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And then there was one.

Rather than face the possibility a life without parole sentence, Matthew Davies plead guilty to second degree murder for shooting and burning a 20-year-old with whom he was dealing drugs and guns in Colorado Springs. Davies faces 40-48 years at his December 18 sentencing.

Davies was one of the last three people in Colorado to face life without parole for murders committed while they were juveniles. Forty-five people are currently serving life sentences for such crimes in Colorado, the 46th will be Michael Tate (featured in the September 20 Westword feature, Killer Instinct) when he gets the mandatory life sentence November 2 for a crime he committed at 16.

Tate could be the last.

But so could Alberto Valles, who narrowly escaped the mandatory sentence earlier this year when an Arapahoe County jury couldn’t reach a verdict. The alleged Sureno gang member is scheduled to go on trial a second time for the gangland killing next month.

He faces first degree murder charges and, if convicted, the judge has no choice but to sentence him to life without parole. Valles was two days shy of his 18th birthday on the day of the murder. -- Luke Turf

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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