Arapahoe District Judge Phillip Douglass on Tuesday sentenced Jeremiah Pepper, 21, to 40 years in prison for stabbing another man to death.
On July 6, 2017, Pepper entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the death of Andrew Martinez, 23.
Arapahoe County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of a stabbing in Strasburg on Aug. 10, 2016.
Pepper had stabbed Martinez near Pepper’s car. The two were friends and had been co-workers at a local fast-food restaurant. Martinez slept overnight in Pepper’s car, and an argument ensued when Pepper went out to his car in the morning.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cori Alcock asked the court during sentencing for the maximum allowed under the plea agreement.
“One man lost his life. He was killed by the defendant,” she said. “It was a simple argument and should not have resulted in the death of a young man with his life ahead of him.”
The judge agreed.
“What’s clear to me is that this was a young man who could not control his anger,” Judge Douglass said. “This is the most serious offense there can be – a life was taken. … You committed a heinous crime.”
He sentenced Pepper to 40 years in the Department of Corrections with five years of mandatory parole.
“This loss of life did not have to happen. Both families are forever wounded by one stupid act,” said District Attorney George H Brauchler. “Hopefully the process and the sentence provides some peace to the parties involved.”