Man with violent past faces first degree murder charges

By: Ashley Prchal Email
By: Ashley Prchal Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The violent incident has left the community and the neighborhood with many questions. Residents on Texas Avenue tell 11 News, last night, their usually quiet street was anything but. Now the neighborhood is wondering how one man ended up dead and another behind bars and another accused of murder.

It started with a domestic dispute and ended with a neighbor dead.

A CBI background check of 31 year-old Robert McCleland shows arrests on two occasions. In 1997 and 1999 he was charged with disorderly conduct, domestic violence, resisting arrest and other charges.

Last night police say he was responsible for the death of another man and is now facing first degree murder charges.

"I rolled over and woke up my boyfriend in a panic and freaking out that there's gun shots. I said hunny, it's right here, it's right here! Wake up, wake up," says Nicole Hancock, a renter on Texas Avenue.

"At that point in time, he looked out the window and we could see the suspect out there with his hands up, gun in his hands and everything," says Hancock.

Betty Hill lives directly across the street from Rob McCleland and sometimes babysits his two little girls.

"I was good friends with Rob. He was always very polite and kind to me," says Hill.

But Hill says she heard that McCleland had a dark side.

"But I was never around him when he was drinking," says Hill.

Hill says she didn't know what McCleland was capable of, but she says with drinking, anything was possible.

"He gets to be as her mother described him, a mean alcoholic. When somebody is an alcoholic, they do a good job of hiding this stuff," says Hill.

According to Hill, McCleland's wife was concerned his latest drinking binge was going to get out of control.

"Her mother said she called her yesterday," says Hill.

Hill says McCleland's wife was going to take the kids and stay at her mother's house.

"Because she said Rob had started drinking about 9 o'clock yesterday morning," says Hill.

But his wife didn't leave and police says when a neighbor stepped in to try and diffuse the argument between the couple, the man was shot at three times and killed by a bullet to the head.

According to a report by the Grand Junction Police, this isn't the first time police officers have been called to this house on Texas Avenue.

In the past eighteen months, police records show cops have been called out for noise complaints, verbal disturbances and much more.

Police say if you find yourself witnessing an argument that looks like it might get out of control, don't interfere and call 911.

McCleland is facing first degree murder, menacing, first degree assault with a deadly weapon, prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment charges.

He is being held in the Mesa County Jail.

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