17th Judicial DA

Adams County Defendant Convicted of Murdering a Husband and Nearly Killing an Entire Family During an Illegal Street Race on I-70

May 17, 2024

Brighton, CO Today, District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the First-Degree Murder conviction of Jeremy Rocha, 22, for fatally shooting John Jaros, 37, on June 18, 2022, on Interstate 70 near Tower Road in Adams County. The Adams County Jury reached its unanimous verdict on Friday afternoon after six days of trial.  

On June 18, 2022, Jeremy Rocha, in his Ford Mustang, and three other vehicles were illegally street racing along I-70 in Adams County near Tower Road. The group was causing a traffic disruption as a result of their street racing tactics.  

At the same time, John Jaros, his wife, and their three young children were also traveling eastbound on I-70 in Jaros’ pickup truck. Jaros became entangled in the disruption created by Rocha and the other street racers. Jaros attempted to pass the group on the left shoulder of the interstate.  

Rocha became agitated by Jaros’ move to pass the street racers, so he caught up to Jaros’ truck, pointed his 9MM Glock handgun at John Jaros’ truck, and opened fire. Rocha fired nine rounds into the truck while chasing it. John Jaros was struck and killed. His wife and children, who were riding as passengers, were not hit.  

Exhaustive investigative work by the Aurora Police Department, witness statements, surveillance video, and other key pieces of evidence led detectives to Jeremy Rocha.  

Rocha presented a self-defense theory at trial that was undercut by the prosecution team of District Attorney Brian Mason and Assistant District Attorney Rhoda Pilmer. Ultimately, the Adams County Jury rejected the defendant’s claim, and he was convicted of First-Degree Murder (Extreme Indifference), Second-Degree Murder (After Deliberation), and First-Degree Attempted Murder (4 Counts).  

“Mr. Rocha brutally murdered John Jaros and nearly massacred an entire family,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. “This was a brutal, senseless, and unimaginable crime. John Jaros was a loving husband, father, and volunteer firefighter in his community who simply wanted to get his family to their campsite that day when he was gunned down on I-70. I’m grateful to the jury, the work of my team at the DA’s Office, and the investigation by the Aurora Police Department that led to this verdict today.” 

On Thursday, May 23, 2024, Adams County District Court Judge Jeffrey Ruff sentenced Jeremy Rocha to life without the possibility of parole (required by law as a result of the first-degree murder conviction) plus 48 years for the second-degree murder conviction (merges into first-degree murder count), and 192 years consecutive (48 years for each count) for the four attempted murder counts.

District Attorney Brian S. Mason and Assistant District Attorney Rhoda Pilmer led the prosecution of this case.  

Photo of John Jaros (Courtesy of the Jaros Family)

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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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