EAGLE, COLORADO – Arnaldo Lucero-Almanza, 22, was sentenced today to 20 years in the Department of Corrections after pleading guilty Jan. 18, 2017, to three counts that included: Aggravated Robbery/Wound-Strike with a Weapon (F3), Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Robbery /Possession of a Weapon (F4), and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (F4). The Defendant was a co-conspirator of Jesus Miranda, who was sentenced Sept. 23, 2016, to 42 years in the Department of Corrections for six counts that included Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, a class 3 felony, for the September 4th, 2015, shooting of a Good Samaritan in Gypsum during an armed robbery.
Lucero-Almanza, the getaway driver, and Miranda took part in the crime spree with a 17-year old female. Lucero-Almanza claimed today, that his participation was motivated by his addiction to drugs. The juvenile female previously pled to Attempted Murder and First Degree and First Degree Burglary for her involvement and is currently serving a six-year sentence in the juvenile offender system. Another related co-defendant, Mateo Serna-Gutierrez (24), who aided in Lucero-Almanza’s flight from the scene of the shooting, has a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 10, 2017, for his role in this case.
Lucero-Almanza’s guilty plea was the result of an armed robbery spree with his accomplices which included a failed attempt to rob a check cashing store in Eagle before three of them went to the retail store, Tienda Montes, in Gypsum. There, two women were held at gunpoint and told to empty the safe. One of the women, the store’s owner, told Miranda there wasn’t any money in the safe, after which Miranda assaulted her by hitting her in the head with the butt of his pistol. Alan Gonzalez, the Good Samaritan who was approaching the store, observed the robbery through the window. Miranda and the 17-year old fled the store, pointed the gun at Gonzalez’s head and told him not to call the police. As Miranda fled, Good Samaritan Gonzalez gave chase and wrestled with him, putting Miranda into a headlock. Miranda fired his 9mm handgun, hitting Gonzalez three times, including one bullet to the chest. Gonzalez was hospitalized, treated, eventually released, and has since recovered from his gunshot wounds.
Judge Dunkelman, in handing down Lucero-Almanza’s sentence said that a case like this impacts the entire community. “I’m satisfied with the court’s decision and believe that the victims of this crime- spree have received the justice they deserve,” said Assistant District Attorney, Heidi McCollum.
The Office of the District Attorney would like to thank the detectives of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office for their efforts in investigating this crime.
ALL PERSONS CHARGED WITH CRIMES ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL THE CONTRARY IS PROVEN IN A COURT OF LAW.