Why Judge Wants Miguel Sanders's Scream to Last 371 Years

Update: Last year, a series of bank robberies perpetrated by men wearing masks familiar from the movie Scream culminated in a massive manhunt for three suspects, one of whom wound up on the FBI's ten most wanted list.

All three of the suspects — Miguel Sanders, Tyrone Richardson and Myloh Mason — have now been convicted for their role in a November 2015 crime spree. Sanders is the first to be sentenced, and he was handed a whopping 371-year jolt.

An account from the First Judicial District DA's Office explains why.

On November 18, 2015, according to prosecutors, Sanders, Mason and Richardson stormed into a bank near the intersection of West Kipling and Jewell in Lakewood. They wore masks, gloves and multiple layers of clothing and packed four guns. Their armaments including extra-high-capacity magazines and 125 rounds of ammo.

Inside the bank were eleven employees and three customers, two of whom escaped as the robbery got under way. The rest were held at gunpoint while the men ordered the bank's vault and the teller's drawers to be opened. Within minutes, they'd left the victims in the vault and split with more than $50,000 in cash.

The authorities weren't far behind them, thanks to 911 calls from the customers who got away. Meanwhile, the men allegedly swapped a stolen car that had transported them to the bank in favor of a rental car put in place for their getaway.

Before long, though, they crashed the rental vehicle, forcing them to proceed on foot into a nearby neighborhood. On West Eldorado Place, they kicked in the door of a 65-year-old man, ordered him to hand over the keys to his mini-van and his phone, and informed him that he would be accompanying them as a hostage.

Things didn't work out that way. Inside his garage, the man freed himself and ran down his driveway, where he was shot in the leg. He fell to the ground, then got back up and continued to flee as the men fired at him, striking him three more times. The wounds are described as life-threatening, but somehow he managed to get to the porch of his neighbor's house before collapsing. He survived.

At that point, the trio took off in the mini-van but crashed it, too, not far from Sheridan High School and the Sheridan Recreation Center, the DA's narrative states. At the center, they tried to carjack the vehicle of a thirty-year-old woman, assaulting and shooting her in the process and punching her 53-year-old mother so hard that she suffered broken facial bones. Yet once they took control of the vehicle, they couldn't start it — and so they were left to make a literal run for it again.

Sanders soon separated from Mason and Richardson, sprinting toward the high school's bus depot, where he confronted a bus driver. Holding one gun to the woman's head and a second in his other hand, he told her to climb behind the wheel of her bus and motor away. But she refused to cooperate, and before Sanders could take additional action, the cops arrived. They found him hiding under the bus.

Richardson was taken into custody six days later, the DA's office notes, while Mason wasn't found until January 15, shortly after he became the twelfth Coloradan ever on the FBI's ten-most-wanted list to be captured.

The thirty-plus counts against each man included attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, burglary, eluding and aggravated motor theft. Their convictions came down in November, with Sanders being sentenced this week to 371 years.

Mason and Richardson will get their turns soon enough. The former's habitual criminal trial and sentencing hearing is set for February 8, while the latter's is expected to take place on March 8. Look below to see unmasked photos of each.

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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