Greeley, CO – Today in Weld County District Court, Matthew Gene Rockwell (DOB: 4/13/86) was sentenced to 144 years in prison for beating his girlfriend then shooting at police officers and paramedics he had beckoned to his Evans home with a 911 call.
“We take very seriously anyone who hurts or tries to hurt police officers ,who put their lives at risk every day to protect the community,” said District Attorney Ken Buck. “I’m very pleased with this sentence.”
Rockwell was sentenced to:
All of the sentences run consecutive to each other except for the second 32-year sentence, which runs concurrent to the others. Together, the sentences total 144 years in prison.
The assault against his then-girlfriend began when Rockwell flew into a rage as they were breaking up, according to police and court records. Rockwell beat her to what Judge Thomas Quammen described as “within an inch of her life,” then called 911 and reported she had been in a bar fight.
Officers and paramedics who responded to the emergency call early morning March 30, 2012 doubted his story and began to ask questions, which caused Rockwell to lock himself in the bathroom with the injured woman. He refused to open the door and threatened the officers, according to police and court records.
Knowing that they needed to get the woman to a hospital as soon as possible, Officer Bratton told Rockwell he was going to kick open the door on the count of five. After counting down and, once again, asking Rockwell to open the door, Bratton kicked it open. Rockwell opened fire, hitting Bratton in the shoulder area and the duty belt, and continued firing through the open door into the other room where Officer Croissant and two medics were located.
Prosecutors argued that Rockwell knew where the first responders were and fired several rounds at them, saving only one bullet for himself. He asked the second officer to shoot him, flipped the policeman off, then shot himself in the forehead, according to police and court records. The medics Rockwell shot at rushed into the bathroom and provided him with medical attention, and he was transported to the hospital.
“This defendant was in a rage, and nothing was going to stop him that night,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Robb Miller, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Joscelyn Gorsline. “He was going to take a lot of lives and then take his own.”
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