17th Judicial DA

Two Adams County Defendants Sentenced to Prison Following 2nd-Degree Murder Convictions

August 18, 2023

Brighton, CO — Today, 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the prison sentences for Hayden Banks, 33, and Gregory Thomas, 38, following their Second-Degree Murder convictions in two separate homicide cases that were prosecuted in Adams County. 

Hayden Banks:

On March 15, 2022, Hayden Banks shot and killed David Islas inside the victim's motel room at the Venture Inn along North Pecos Street in Adams County. The dispute centered around a counterfeit $100 bill that Banks attempted to recover from the victim. Banks confronted Islas in the doorway of his motel room. When Islas started to shut the door, Banks pulled out his handgun and shot the victim once through the heart. 

On Friday, June 30, 2023, an Adams County Jury found Banks guilty of Second-Degree Murder following a week-long trial. On Thursday, August 17, 2023, an Adams County District Court Judge sentenced Banks to 40 years in the Department of Corrections.  

“The defendant egregiously and unnecessarily took another man’s life – and he will now have to pay the consequences,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. “I am grateful to the jury, as well as the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and my DA’s Office prosecution team, for securing justice in this case.”

Gregory Thomas: 

On May 20, 2021, an Adams County Deputy discovered a body in a trash can inside a storage unit at the Free Up Storage facility along Devonshire Street in unincorporated Adams County. The storage unit was owned by Gregory Thomas. The body inside the storage unit was identified as Lavanya Jain, 21. Thomas was eventually apprehended in Washington. Thomas admitted to meeting Jain online and said she had been staying at his house. Thomas claimed that he shot Jain in self-defense on March 19, 2021, and then hid her body inside the storage unit. On May 19, 2023, Thomas pleaded guilty to Second-Degree Murder, and on August 17, 2023, an Adams County District Court Judge sentenced Thomas to 48 years in the Department of Corrections. 

"The defendants actions in this gruesome case were absolutely abhorrent,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. Im grateful to the Adams County Sheriffs Office and my team at the DAs Office for their hard work in this case.

Both of these deaths were entirely avoidable and they are yet another example of the cost of gun violence in our community," DA Mason stated. 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jesse Forrest and Senior Lead Deputy District Attorney Katelyn L. Konecny led the prosecution of the Banks case. 

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Prince and Senior Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Webb led the prosecution of the Thomas case. 

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District Attorney Mason assumed the oath of office on January 12, 2021. The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office endeavors to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Adams and Broomfield counties in felony and misdemeanor cases. DA Mason and his staff are dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system to better serve the citizens of the 17th Judicial District.

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