17th Judicial DA

Judge Delivers Max Sentence to Adams County Defendant Who Struck Victim in Head with the Claw of Hammer

October 27, 2023

Brighton, CO — Today, District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the 48-year prison sentence for James Silvis, 55, following his Attempted Murder conviction on August 23, 2023. 

On August 6, 2021, Silvis was working at a mechanics shop at E. 74th Avenue and Birch Street in Adams County. During his shift, the defendant decided to grab a hammer and approach a co-worker from behind who was sitting in front of a computer. Silvis flipped the hammer around and struck the 33-year-old victim in the back of the head with the claw side of the tool. 

The victim dropped to the floor and Silvis left the building. Silvis fled the mechanics shop in his vehicle and was later apprehended by police. Silvis said he had an ongoing issue with the victim but admitted to assaulting the individual in an unprovoked manner. The victim sustained blunt force head trauma that resulted in a skull fracture, a brain laceration, and a hemorrhage. The 33-year-old was rushed into emergency surgery, and his life was saved; however, he still suffers from cognitive issues, memory loss, left-eye blindness, a loss of fine motor skills, and a lack of sensation in his left arm and leg. The victim had to leave Colorado to be closer to family to assist with the issues he now faces daily. 

On August 23, 2023, an Adams County Jury convicted Silvis of 1st-Degree Attempted Murder and 1st-Degree Assault Serious Bodily Injury with a Deadly Weapon. 

On Friday, October 27, 2023, an Adams County Judge sentenced Silvis to the maximum allowed sentence for such a conviction. The defendant received 48 years in the Department of Corrections. 

"This unprovoked and brutal attack has forever altered this victim's life" said District Attorney Brian Mason. "The defendant’s violence towards a co-worker is beyond comprehension. He justifiably must now serve a lengthy prison sentence for his crime. I'm thankful to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, my prosecution team at the DA’s Office and the jury for their thoughtful work on this case."

Senior Lead Deputy District Attorney Mike Whitney and Deputy District Attorney Lauren Asher led the prosecution of this 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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