Defendant, Who Nearly Killed a Young Boy While Opening Fire on Multiple Vehicles in Adams County, Sentenced to 25 Years in the Department of Corrections
Brighton, CO —Today, District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the 25-year prison sentence for Theodore Hrdlicka, 51, following his guilty plea to Attempted Murder on September 8, 2021.
On August 5, 2019, a vehicle containing a grandfather, his son, and his young grandson were traveling along Highway 36 in Adams County toward Estes Park. They were on a family camping trip from out of state when they noticed an individual driving recklessly and traveling in their direction. They heard gunshots as the truck approached their vehicle.
Moments later, the driver, Courtney Hrdlicka, 32, pulled up alongside their car while her husband, Theodore Hrdlicka, stuck his gun out of the passenger-side window and opened fire. Several bullets struck the victim’s vehicle including one that was inches away from striking the young boy. He was left covered in metal fragments from the shooting.
The Hrdlicka’s continued on, and Theodore proceeded to fire additional rounds from his weapon. Two other vehicles were struck during this incident. The Hrdlicka’s fled the area and were later arrested at a home in unincorporated Adams County.
It was later determined the Hrdlicka’s allegedly committed an identical series of crimes in Arapahoe County shortly before the shooting in Adams County. Earlier this year, Courtney Hrdlicka pleaded guilty to Accessory to a Crime in Adams County and First-Degree Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Arapahoe County. She was sentenced to a total of 10 years in the Department of Corrections. Theodore Hrdlicka’s case in Arapahoe County is still pending.
“The actions of this defendant are appalling and unfathomable,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. “These innocent victims were going on a family camping trip when Mr. Hrdlicka inexplicably started shooting at a little boy, his father, and his grandfather. I’m grateful we were able to achieve justice in this case. ”
On Wednesday, September 8, 2021, Theodore Hrdlicka pleaded guilty to,
Sentence Enhancer: Violent Crime—Used Weapon
On Friday, October 22, 2021, Hrdlicka was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Senior Lead Deputy District Attorney Albert Buchman and Deputy District Attorney Will Atherton led the prosecution of these cases.
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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.
Ms. Gazelka is a forensic therapist and clinician in Denver, Colorado. She is currently focused on providing therapy and assessment services to adult offenders in the community corrections and parole systems as a supervisor at Correctional Psychology Associates (CPA). Her education and career have been devoted to the intersection of psychology and law since 2000. Ms. Gazelka has been working within the field of forensic and correctional psychology since 2006, providing therapy in the community and acute mental health care and risk assessments in county jails. She has practiced as a Licensed Professional Counselor since June 2012. She also became a Licensed Addiction Counselor in March 2014. She was listed as a full operating level DVOMB Approved Provider in June 2019 and started a fledgling DV program oriented to Colorado’s Department of Corrections at CPA in September 2019. Ms. Gazelka was appointed to the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB) in March 2019 and has started her second term with the board. Ms. Gazelka has been recognized for her work as Contributor of the Year at CPA in 2010 and 2012, as well as having been awarded an Alumni Impact Award for her forensic work in the community by University of Denver’s GSPP in 2019. Ms. Gazelka received her Master of Arts degree in Forensic Clinical Psychology from University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology in 2009. Ms. Gazelka also received her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in 2007, obtaining attorney’s licenses in both Minnesota and Colorado (currently inactive).
Alex Castro Croy
Alex Castro Croy is a bilingual, bicultural, Trauma and Addiction Counselor and owner/Lead Clinician of Life Recovery Centers in Denver and Northglenn Colorado.
A first-generation immigrant from Mexico who accomplished his dream in higher education receiving an AA in Pastoral Ministry (Dallas, Texas), Bachelor of Science in Human Services (MSU in Denver, Colorado) and MA in Community Counseling from Regis University (Denver, Co). He is continuing to pursue his MA/Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Jungian and Archetypal Studies.
Alex’s passion includes training, teaching, counseling, and consulting. He has been an Adjunct Professor for the Human Services Department at MSU-Denver for 9 years. He has served as an Interventionist for the Latino GLBTQ community, Drug Court Probation Officer at Denver Juvenile Court Probation (8 years), Bilingual Diversion Officer for Denver DA office (5 years), and currently owner and director of Life Recovery Centers (7 years). He has worked with a variety of clients from all walks of life and his eclectic therapeutic interventions have proven to be effective in treating trauma and addiction.
Thea Wessel is an addictions counselor with a private practice in Colorado. She has been working in the criminal and addiction fields for thirteen years. Ms. Wessel earned her Masters in forensic psychology from the University of Denver and has her LPC, LAC, MAC, NCAAC, and ADS. She is working towards her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Ms. Wessel continually challenges herself and others to provide quality addiction treatment and ways to continue to educate the community about addiction issues.