Sam Lincoln Sentenced to 222 Years Behind Bars

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Sam Lincoln will spend the rest of his life in jail, after being sentenced to 144 years for shooting at Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies, and 78 years for the attempted murder of James Finnegan.

"We asked for the maximum amount of time alloted and that's what we received," said Tammy Eret of the Mesa County District Attorney's Office. "That is appropriate for what he did."

Two years ago, Lincoln tracked down Finnegan, a man who was supposed to testify against another man Lincoln knew. He took him to the desert and shot him five times, including once in the face. Miraculously, Finnegan survived.

After the shooting, a massive manhunt was launched for Lincoln. When the Sheriff's Office caught up with him, he led them on a high speed chase. He fired several shots at deputies during the chase and was able to escape.

He was finally arrested near Glenwood Springs.

The District Attorney's office says after all that, he deserved the harshest punishment.

"Based on everything we have, everything we have read, everything we have been through, every person we've talked with, we gave the appropriate disposition," said Eret.

During his hearing on Friday, all Lincoln could say was that he loved his family and that he pled guilty to charges of first degree assault to accept responsibility for what he did.

While he didn't have much to say to the judge, his family and defense team did. They expressed their frustrations over a plea agreement made with Charles Pruitt, a man who was with Lincoln the day he shot Finnegan, and who they say also fired shots.

As part of that agreement, the first degree attempted murder charges against him were dropped and he was sentenced to 10 years probation.

The DA's office says the evidence shows Pruitt never shot at Finnegan that day, and that it stands behind its decision.

During the hearing, Lincoln's attorney filed a motion for a new trial, but it was rejected. Lincoln can, however, still file for an appeal.


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