23-year-old man takes plea deal in Boulder County crime spree

One of the men charged in a Boulder County crime spree that led police on numerous chases last fall signed a plea deal with prosecutors Friday. At an arraignment hearing at the Boulder County Justice Center, Matthew Leon, 23, pleaded guilty to two Class 5...

23-year-old man takes plea deal in Boulder County crime spree

One of the men charged in a Boulder County crime spree that led police on numerous chases last fall signed a plea deal with prosecutors Friday.

At an arraignment hearing at the Boulder County Justice Center, Matthew Leon, 23, pleaded guilty to two Class 5 felonies — aggravated motor vehicle theft and first-degree criminal trespass — and second-degree burglary, a Class 3 felony.

The Class 5 felonies carry a sentencing range of one to three years and the Class 3 felony carry a sentencing range of four to 12 years.

Thirty other counts — including three counts of crime of violence and six counts of felony menacing — were dropped, according to court records.

Leon is due back in court for sentencing at 10:30 a.m. March 24. The other man charged in the case, Manuel Rodela, 20, was scheduled Friday for a continued arraignment at 8:15 a.m. April 3.

According to police reports, a police officer stopped Leon with a Taser when he tried to run away on the night of Sept. 22, 2016.

The crime spree started that afternoon, after dispatch received the first of many reports that somebody was shooting out windows in the area of Main Street and Pike Road, south of Longmont.

Police allege that the two men and three juveniles stole a car in Denver earlier that day and drove to Longmont, where they began shooting out vehicles' windows with a pellet gun and traveled south to shoot at more vehicles, including one in Erie occupied by a 2-year-old girl.

The group is also accused of stealing a van in Erie and leading police on two chases, which officers in each case terminated over safety concerns.

Officers responded to the Lafayette Walmart after sighting the van at the store and another chase ensued, during which Rodela is accused of ramming two police vehicles.

Rodela, Leon and a girl attempted to run away, but were soon captured.

According to court records, Leon in August 2016 pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug case after serving 69 days in jail.

Amelia Arvesen: 303-684-5212, arvesena@times-call.com or twitter.com/ameliaarvesen

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