District Court Judge Jeffrey K Holmes on Tuesday sentenced an Agate man to 144 years in prison for the death of a former partner in a marijuana business and then setting a wildfire to cover it up.
An Elbert County jury on July 19, 2017, found Shawn Geerdes, 48, guilty of murder in the death of Jason Dosa, 44, of Parker.
Geerdes was found to be a habitual offender, multiplying the mandatory sentence.
“You had a horrible criminal history,” Judge Holmes told the defendant in imposing the court’s sentence.
The case began Sept. 20, 2015, when Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies were notified of a fire. They found a car on fire that had started a wildfire.
Ultimately, investigating officers found a body in the trunk, later identified as Dosa. He had been shot five times.
Investigators traced Dosa’s movements and found his last location at a marijuana greenhouse in Agate on land owned by Geerdes. Dosa and Geerdes were former partners in the grow operation.
Investigators found evidence at the growhouse including bloodstains and spent shell casings that indicated Dosa had been killed there and his body later transported to Jefferson County. The case was tried in Elbert County and prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Douglas Bechtel and Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Gallo.
Geerdes was found guilty in July 2017 of second-degree murder, a Class 2 felony; setting a wildfire, a Class 3 felony; and second-degree arson, a Class 4 felony.
“This defendant took a father away from children, a husband away from a wife,” Gallo told the court in seeking the 144-year sentence. “Then this defendant had to obscure the evidence of what he did – he endangered an entire community in doing so. That deserves a separate consideration.”
Judge Holmes sentenced Geerdes to the mandatory 96 years in the Department of Corrections on the murder count, 48 years on the wildfire count and 24 years on the arson count. The arson and wildfire counts will be served concurrently; the murder and wildfire counts will be served consecutively.
“It is outrageous behavior best reserved for a Hollywood movie. For all that he has taken from others, Geerdes has now lost almost everything,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “That is justice in this case.”