Serving the citizens of Clear Creek, Eagle, Summit and Lake Counties

Murderer is Sentenced to 36 Years in Unprovoked Leadville Bar Stabbing

Leadville, Colo. – Matthew James Haley, 30, was sentenced today for the 2nd Degree Murder of Jordan Gausman, 31, in a fatal stabbing outside the Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville on May 2, 2016. The Honorable Judge Mark Thompson sentenced Defendant Haley to 36 years in the Department of Corrections, after his guilty plea to the Murder charge on April 25, 2017. Judge Thompson also sentenced Haley to a concurrent 4-year term in the Department of Corrections on an “assisting escape” charge in which Haley had assisted another inmate with an attempted escape from the Lake County Jail in January of 2017.

Gausman and Haley were both patrons in the bar and had been talking amicably, when Haley became inexplicably agitated towards Gausman. A discussion ensued about serving 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 then kicked him. While Mr. Gausman tried to stand up, Haley held him, pulled a knife from a leg sheath, and stabbed Gausman on his left side—causing the 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.

In his comments during the sentencing hearing, Judge Thompson echoed the arguments of Deputy District Attorney Johnny Lombardi that Haley ambushed Jordan Gausman outside the Silver Dollar Saloon in an unprovoked attack.

“This killing shocked and outraged our small Leadville community. We express our condolences to Jordan’s friends and family who will forever be saddened by his death and never forget the joy that he brought through his good nature,” said 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown.HaleyMug