17th Judicial DA

Broomfield Defendant Convicted of Manslaughter, Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison for Killing 71-Year-Old Man While Breaking Into Cars

September 6, 2023

Broomfield, CO — Today, 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the jury’s verdict and subsequent prison sentence for Joseph Maestas-Sanchez, 24, following a six-day jury trial in Broomfield County District Court. 

On August 25, 2021, Joseph Maestas-Sanchez fatally shot 71-year-old Michael Lewis in the head while breaking into vehicles in the Sunridge Circle area of Broomfield. 

Lewis, who lived in the neighborhood, approached Maestas-Sanchez during the break-ins, and the defendant fired the fatal shot. Maestas-Sanchez fled the area, and Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Maestas-Sanchez was charged with Second-Degree Murder, First-Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft, and Criminal Trespass. He was tried in Broomfield County District Court in April 2023. The jury found him guilty of Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft and Criminal Trespass but were unable to reach a verdict on the Second-Degree Murder charge. 

The defendant's re-trial on the Second-Degree Murder charge started on August 28, 2023. Following four days of trial, and two days of deliberation, the jury found him guilty of Manslaughter,
a lesser charge.

Following the verdict, the Judge sentenced Maestas-Sanchez to 24 years in the Department of Corrections on the three charges for which he was found guilty. 

"This defendant's actions were senseless, horrif
ic and shocking," said District Attorney Brian Mason. "Michael Lewis was simply looking out for his neighborhood and was brutally gunned down by this defendant. Although a challenging case that led to two trials, my staff and the Broomfield Police Department never wavered. They stayed the course, they fought for justice, and did everything in their power to deliver a just outcome. I am proud of their efforts. My deepest thoughts and sincerest condolences remain with the loved ones of Michael Lewis as they continue to deal with this unimaginable loss."

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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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