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Lakewood Man Pleads Guilty to 2nd Degree Murder in Leadville

LEADVILLE, COLO. – Matthew James Haley, 30, pleaded guilty today to 2nd Degree Murder of Jordan Gausman, 31, for a fatal stabbing outside the Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville on May 2, 2016. A sentencing hearing has been set for June 28, 2017 at 8:30 A.M., in the District Court of Lake County before the Honorable Mark Thompson.

Gausman and Haley were both patrons in the Silver Dollar Saloon and had been talking at the bar, when Haley became inexplicably agitated towards Gausman. A discussion ensued about both men having served in the military. While Haley was paying for his beer, he pushed and struck Gausman on his chest and head and ‘invited’ him outside the bar. Gausman paid his tab shortly after, and he and a friend left the bar. Haley attacked Gausman without warning moments later in front of the bar, punching him repeatedly in the face, knocking him to the ground, where he was then kicked. Victim Gausman tried to stand up, when Haley held him, pulled a knife from a leg sheath, stabbing Gausman on his left side and causing a fatal injury. Haley fled the scene, and an intense manhunt began.

Mr. Gausman was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville, then eventually airlifted to St. Anthony’s Hospital, where he died shortly after his arrival. Haley turned himself in to the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office May 7, 2016.

“Today’s plea of guilty is a step towards closure and part of the community grieving for the loss of Jordan Gausman, who was a friend of our small Leadville community,” commented Bruce Brown, District Attorney. “The appreciation of the community goes out to the Leadville Police Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation for their collaborative efforts in this investigation.”

The plea agreement resulted in a dismissal of a first-degree murder charge and contemplates a sentence between 30 and 40 years in the court’s discretion. Judge Thompson will also sentence Haley in that case on June 28, 2017 at 8:30 AM.

Haley also pleaded guilty in a separate felony case in which he assisted another inmate in the Lake County Jail with their attempt to escape from the facility on January 12, 2017.
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