Three Aurora men have been sentenced for three armed attacks that terrified women in Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and Parker.
Douglas County District Court Chief Judge Theresa Slade today sentenced Geoffrey Warren Johnson, 27, to 45 years in the Department of Corrections.
On Feb. 15, the same judge sentenced Xavier Masse, 21, to 37 years in the Department of Corrections for his role in the attacks.
Deaundre McWilliams, 21, played a lesser role and was sentenced in December 2017 to a 15-year suspended sentence in the Department of Corrections pending successful completion of six years in the Youthful Offender System.
“Such wanton lawlessness perpetrated by gun-toting miscreants who preyed upon suburban women will not be tolerated in this community. These three threatened, terrorized and left the victims feeling vulnerable and afraid,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “But they didn’t get away with it. They have earned long stays in prison, and I want the community to once again know that we continue work to keep them safe.”
Brauchler added: “For those looking to find evidence of increasing violence in the metro area, this is a good example.”
The crimes began Feb 21, 2017, at a car wash on South Federal Circle in Littleton. About 11 p.m. the 51-year-old victim was cleaning her car when Masse and Johnson approached with guns drawn and one told her “You just got jacked.” One put the muzzle of a handgun in the victim’s mouth and demanded she get on the ground. The two ransacked her vehicle, stole her phone and fled in a waiting car.
The next day, Feb. 22, 2017, between midnight and 1 a.m., a 41-year-old woman drove home from her restaurant job. She pulled into her driveway in Highlands Ranch and two men with guns appeared – Masse and Johnson — one on each side of her car. She gave the men her keys, her purse, her phone and her wallet. One hit her on the head with a handgun and they fled in a waiting car.
Later on Feb. 22, 2017, a 39-year-old woman was returning home about midnight after meeting a friend at the Hilltop Tap House in Parker. She parked in the driveway and got out to walk to her front door. Masse and Johnson approached her on the porch, and one pulled her purse off her shoulder. They ran to a waiting car, and the victim gave chase. One fired two shots at her as they fled.
Parker Police responded immediately to the last incident and located a suspect vehicle. With assistance from Aurora Police Department, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Masse and McWilliams were taken into custody Feb. 23 following a high-speed chase. Johnson initially escaped but Parker’s investigation later identified him, leading to his arrest in August 2017.
During sentencing arguments for Masse, Deputy District Attorney Kristine Rolfes summarized his previous court cases, noting for the court that he had refused to take advantage of rehabilitation numerous times that it was offered.
“At what time is Xavier Masse accountable for Xavier Masse’s actions? The juvenile system tried multiple times to help him. At this point a lengthy prison sentence is the only way to keep people safe from him,” Rolfes said in seeking a sentence of 45 years. “He took the victims’ sense of security and safety. He saw the women as targets, not as human beings. He had total disregard for their lives. … The violence in these crimes was escalating. When people are robbed with a loaded gun, people can die.”
McWilliams pleaded guilty in October 2017 to one count each of aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, and vehicular eluding. He was sentenced in December 2017.
Johnson pleaded guilty in September 2018 to three counts of aggravated robbery, all Class 3 felonies.
A jury found Masse guilty of all counts in December 2018. They are: attempted second-degree murder; three counts of aggravated robbery; conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery; three counts of menacing; theft; and obstruction of a police officer.