Review of the shooting at an apartment at 183 W. Powers Circle by Littleton Police Officer David Snook and Corporal Jeffrey Farmer.
Littleton Police Department
A Denver man who shot indiscriminately at drivers in Littleton has been sentenced to 30 years in the Department of Corrections.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Shay Whitaker sentenced Theodore Hrdlicka, 51, after he pleaded guilty in November 2021 to three counts of attempted first-degree murder extreme indifference. Other counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
On Aug. 4, 2019, Hrdlicka and his wife, Courtney Hrdlicka, 32, were in their pickup in Littleton. Courtney Hrdlicka was seen kicking a vehicle in traffic before getting into the driver’s seat, as Theodore Hrdlicka fired a handgun at that vehicle. Bullets hit the other car, but no one was injured.
This happened two additional times in a short span in Littleton. All three vehicles were hit by gunfire; luckily none of the six people in the vehicles were injured. Police linked the suspects to similar crimes in Adams County that happened later that same day.
Hrdlicka later said he was drunk and high when he committed the crimes. He did have not any previous contact with any of his victims.
“The fact that these acts were similar to his actions in Adams County does not diminish what happened in this case,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Colleen Greer, the prosecutor on the case. “He indiscriminately fired a weapon toward six people here in Arapahoe County. The victims here also deserve justice.”
Judge Whitaker agreed and sentenced Hrdlicka to the maximum sentence possible under the plea agreement.
“What kind of person randomly fires a gun at cars with people inside?” said District Attorney John Kellner. “There is no excuse or explanation for such actions that put others at such great risk. This outcome is appropriate.”
Courtney Hrdlicka pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault in August 2021 and was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections, concurrent to the same sentence in Adams County.
Thomas Hrdlicka was sentenced in October 2021 to 25 years in the Adams County case; his Arapahoe sentence will be served concurrently.
The Arapahoe County Grand Jury has indicted Jeffrey Scott Beier for the murder of Charlene Voight, among other charges.
Beier, 46, is in custody in Russia.
“This is the reason I recruited John Kellner to lead the Cold Case Unit I stood up when I was first elected,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “These cases present special challenges, but they are no less important to families, law enforcement and this office. Nobody should be able to walk away from murder. I will do everything in my power to bring a perpetrator to justice. I am pleased that in the death of Charlene Voight, there is now a process in place to accomplish that.”
On July 8, 2016, Voight’s family reported to Littleton Police that she was missing. Voight, who was 36 at the time of her death, was last seen by witnesses the night of June 30, 2016.
The investigation identified Beier as a suspect. He was in a relationship with Voight and she was living with him at the time of her disappearance. The grand jury issued its indictment Aug. 9. 2019. The body of Charlene Voight has not been located.
“I am proud to be able to tell the family of Miss Voight that the men and women of my department worked for four years to see this day,” said Littleton Police Chief Doug Stephens. “My heart goes out to them, knowing that they are mourning the loss of their sister and daughter. I hope this arrest is a step that will help them move toward healing.”
Beier is charged with one count of first-degree murder after deliberation; one count of first-degree felony murder; one count of sexual assault; two counts of attempt to influence a public servant; two counts of tampering with evidence; one count of aggravated animal cruelty; and one count of third-degree assault.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Beier faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole under Colorado law.
It is unclear when Beier will be returned to Colorado to face the charges against him; no court dates will be scheduled until he is physically present in the Arapahoe County Detention Center.
Criminal charges are merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
A serial rapist was sentenced Friday to 90 years to life in prison for an attack on a woman on a Littleton trail.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Michael Spear sentenced Johnny Dewayne Harris Jr, 49, to an indeterminate sentence of 90 years to life in the Colorado Department of Corrections for sexually assaulting the 28-year-old woman who was walking her dog on July 25, 2018. This sentence will begin after he serves his sentence for a sex assault in Denver.
“This defendant is why we need strong laws regarding rapists,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Monsters like him will continue to terrorize innocent victims whenever they get the chance. This offender will no longer be a threat to our community.
“I am in awe at the strength of the survivor in this case, who fought him off, spoke out about the attack and took the stand to help convict him.”
The survivor and several supporters spoke at sentencing. She thanked her family, friends and strangers who have rallied to her, calling them “her tribe.”
She asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence.
“What he did to me is not something you move on from or just get over,” she said. “But I’m smart and strong – a warrior woman. “
The jury reached its verdict Sept. 18, 2019. Harris was found guilty of:
• one count of first-degree kidnapping
• one count of attempted sexual assault
• one count of first-degree assault
• one count of unlawful sexual contact
When he attacked the woman in Littleton, Harris had committed two sexual assaults in Denver in March 2018. He was sentenced in July 2019 to 25 years in prison for the Denver assaults.
One of his Denver victims spoke at his sentencing on Friday.
“He deserves the longest sentence possible – the public is not safe when he is outside prison,” she told the judge.
“This is the thing that all good people fear – this is the stuff of nightmares,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Gallo told the judge Friday in asking for the maximum sentence. “Keeping this defendant in prison is the way the nightmare ends and the court can guarantee the safety of this community.”
Harris had been convicted in 1999 in Texas after he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl. He was released from prison in 2014 but failed to register as a sex offender.
He pleaded guilty to failure to register in Colorado in December 2016 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Danielle Jaramillo prosecuted the case with Gallo.
“Nothing can make right what this defendant has done, but I hope this sentence brings a measure of security to the survivors knowing he will not be able to hurt them or anyone else ever again,” she said. “This painful chapter in their recovery is now closed.”
A sex offender who was on parole for a drug charge in Georgia and wanted in a robbery in Florida will spend 96 years in a Colorado prison for a crime spree that took him from Denver all the way to New Mexico.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Ben Leutwyler sentenced Eric Ray Weston, 37, after he pleaded guilty to six of the 29 counts against him. Other counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
“Another convicted felon on parole is able to get his hands on a gun and then uses it to threaten five innocent people, kidnap a sixth, and burglarize a home,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “A system that continues to allow this type of offender back on our streets is one that needs significant improvement. This is why we build prisons.”
On June 23, 2017, two sisters met Weston in Littleton midmorning to purchase a vehicle he had posted on “Let Go.” Weston got in their car with them to go see the sale vehicle. The sisters became uncomfortable, and they told Weston they were no longer interested.
That is when Weston pulled out a handgun and pointed it at them from the back seat. The sisters ran screaming from their car – Weston ran in the other direction.
A nearby man heard the screams and saw Weston running by. He chased Weston down and asked what was going on. Weston pulled out the gun and pointed it at the man’s head. When Weston learned the man did not have car keys, he ran off.
Next Weston entered a parking lot where a woman was sitting in her parked car. He opened her door, pointed his gun at her head and told her to get out. She did. Weston drove off in her car.
Another witness tried to stop the car and Weston pointed the gun at him, too.
All of these victims reported what happened to Littleton Police.
The stolen car was spotted by Englewood Police. Weston eluded officers in a high-speed chase before abandoning the car.
Weston then broke into and hid in a house in Denver near where he left the stolen car. The unsuspecting homeowner came home early and found Weston hiding in his bedroom. Weston held the homeowner at gunpoint for several hours until police activity subsided.
Then Weston took the man’s cell phone and forced him at gunpoint to get in his car and drive him to Albuquerque. Once there, Weston kept the phone but let the man go; he drove back to Denver and reported the kidnapping to law enforcement.
Littleton Police learned Weston boarded a bus in Albuquerque headed to San Bernardino. Littleton worked with law enforcement in California to take Weston into custody.
“Eric Weston is a dangerous predator with no regard for the law. He terrorized victims in Florida and Colorado because he was unwilling to obey the rules of parole in Georgia. His criminal behavior escalated over the course of his life. We count our blessings he did not pull the trigger on June 23, 2017,” said Deputy District Attorney Michael Mauro, who prosecuted the case with Senior District Attorney Garrik Storgaard. “Seven different law enforcement agencies across Georgia, Florida, Colorado, and California are to be commended for their collaboration to investigate, track, and apprehend Weston.”
Weston pleaded guilty to:
• Two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class 3 felony;
• Two counts of attempted aggravated robbery, a Class 4 felony;
• Two counts of felony menacing, a Class 5 felony
Sentencing was Oct. 4.
An Arapahoe County jury found Johnny Dewayne Harris, Jr., 49, guilty of all charges related to a sexual assault of a Littleton woman in 2018.
On the morning of July 25, 2018, the victim took her dog for a walk on the trail located west of the intersection at South Santa Fe Drive and Brewery Lane in Littleton. The defendant attacked her by wrapping a parachute cord around her neck and dragged her about 20 feet into an area off the trail.
During the assault, the victim fought back and knocked the defendant’s glasses off his face, severely impairing his ability to see. The defendant told her at one point, “I need to find my glasses to get out of here, because I need to make a break for it. If I don’t have my glasses, I can’t.”
To prevent her escape while he searched for his glasses, he used the rope around her neck to also tie her by the ankles and wrists behind her back. As he continued his search, the victim regained her balance while hog-tied, untied her feet and escaped. Her dog was found shortly after.
Several cyclists stopped to help the victim once she ran onto the trail. Littleton Police apprehended the defendant 15-20 minutes after the assault, as some of the cyclists either took care of the victim or followed the defendant until his arrest. The victim sustained serious bodily injuries.
When Littleton Police interrogated the defendant, he said that he is near-sighted and could read and understand everything. He later confessed in a taped interview and written statement.
At the time of the attack, the defendant was wanted by the City and County of Denver for sexual assault and failure to register as a sex offender. The defendant said he was in the Littleton area because he knew he was wanted in Denver.
The jury received the case late in the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 18 after a three-day jury trial.
The jury found the defendant guilty of the following charges:
• One count of First Degree Kidnapping (F2)
• One count of Attempted Sexual Assault – Deadly Weapon (F3)
• One count of Attempted Sexual Assault – Serious Bodily Injury (F3)
• One count of Attempted Sexual Assault – Use of Force/Violence (F3)
• One count of First Degree Assault – Strangulation (F3)
• One count of Unlawful Sexual Contact (F3)
• Two sentence enhancements for violent crime
District Attorney George Brauchler said, “Harris is the embodiment of the nightmarish rapist who jumps from the bushes to grab and sexually assault the innocent and unsuspecting. I am impressed and grateful for the Colorado courage displayed by the victim both at the hands of her would-be rapist and in front of a jury of strangers. Let the word go forth from this courtroom that we will not tolerate rapists in our community. For those who seek to weaken our laws regarding sex offenders, let this be a reminder of what is at stake. Monsters like Harris are yet another reason we build prisons.”
The victim stated the following: “It’s hard to describe the emotions going through my mind as this has been the hardest week of my life since the attack.
I can’t thank everyone who has been with me throughout the process enough. I am so proud and grateful to my legal team for the way they presented my case as well as treating me with the utmost respect and patience for the last 14 months.
I’d also like to thank every single person who testified, I know from experience just how difficult that must have been. It is never easy to relive probably one of the most awful experiences of their lives.
Last but not least, to my army of support, who stood behind me the entire way, my husband, my brother, my mom, and my entire friendship base from around the entire world was with me this week! I am a survivor, and through the help of all of you I am able to be here to thank you all today.”
Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Gallo and Senior District Attorney Danielle Jaramillo prosecuted this case.
The sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 20 at 1:30 PM in the Arapahoe County District Court, Division 407. The defendant faces a sentencing range of 16 – 128 years to life in the Department of Corrections.
The Honorable Judge Michael James Spear presides over this case.