90 years for Sam Lincoln | PostIndependent.com

90 years for Sam Lincoln

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Samuel Kingman Lincoln as a boy was twice named Peach King and rode at the head of Palisade’s Peach Festival. As a 27-year-old man he now faces 332 years in prison.

His attorney and family members have said it was a meth addiction that got him into trouble and sent him speeding through a series of surprisingly violent, high-profile crimes.

District Chief Judge James Boyd sentenced Lincoln Friday morning to 90 years in prison for nearly stabbing a man to death with a bayonet and robbing his trailer in West Glenwood in 2004.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch said she’d asked for the 117-year maximum sentence. Defense attorney Kathy Goudy said she asked for the 10-year minimum sentence.

“This was probably one of the worst crimes I’ve seen as a prosecutor ” just gratuitous violence,” Fitch said, after the hearing. “I can’t imagine treating another human being that way, doing that to someone else.”

Fitch, who is leaving the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office, also said Lincoln’s criminal record suggests “he simply cannot safely live among other people.”

A jury convicted Lincoln in March of several charges including attempted murder.

Co-defendant Lawrence Doty, whose charges stemmed from the same crime and investigation, was earlier found not guilty.

Goudy said she sought the minimum sentence because Sharon Coelho, a witness who planned the crime, got immunity and no punishment for testifying. And Doty, who prosecutors said was more involved in the violence and had more blood on him, was found not guilty, Goudy said.

Lincoln’s 90-year sentence follows a 242-year sentence for shooting at deputies in Mesa County, shooting a man six times in the desert outside Grand Junction, plus an armed robbery and menacing case. Prosecutors said he shot at deputies 23 times from two handguns and drove over 100 mph through the streets of Grand Junction. A Mesa County deputy said Lincoln was a “neighborhood bully” when he was stealing bicycles at 14.

Lincoln worked in his mother’s Slice O Life bakery there growing up. Now he faces life in prison.

The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said that it was prosecuting the case despite an existing sentence for over two centuries of prison time because the victims of this crime have the same rights to have the case prosecuted as the other victims, and Lincoln could win appeals he’s filed on the other cases. Goudy said, “I think it’s a waste of legal resources.”

Lincoln and Goudy maintained Lincoln’s innocence Friday and told Boyd he didn’t commit the crimes.

“I don’t think this happens very often and I didn’t ever think it would have happened to me, but I have been accused and convicted of something I had absolutely nothing to do with, and I hope at some point in the future this is reversed,” Lincoln said in court, according to an audio recording.

Goudy said after the hearing, “He was very polite. It was not an angry tone. He was asserting his constitutional rights.”

She said she believes an innocent man is going to jail in this case and she will take up the appeal. She said, “I can tell you he has some incredibly strong issues that would get new trials in all three of his cases.”

Coelho said at trial in March the she planned the crime with Lincoln, Doty and another man while they all used meth at the Budget Host motel. They wanted money for more of the drug. Coelho said she saw the men leave with guns and knives and come back later with blood on their clothes. They washed up and drove to Grand Junction at high speeds. The stabbing victim, Federico Garcia Hernandez, reportedly had paid for the motel room to help Coelho, who was still a teenager at the time.

Garcia Hernandez was awakened in the early hours of the morning to being hit or stabbed, dragged out of bed and stabbed some more. He and family members in the trailer at the Fireside Trailer Court described a group of masked men terrorizing and robbing them.

Lincoln’s brushes with the law and their resulting headlines point toward a pattern of drug use and surprising amounts of violence. Lincoln grew addicted to meth and became a part of Grand Junction’s meth subculture. His father, Tim, told a Denver newspaper in 2005, “It’s like watching one of your kids be buried alive.”

Lincoln, then called the most wanted man on the Western Slope, was arrested by the Garfield County All-Hazards Response Team at the Budget Host Motel on Dec. 11, 2005 after an 18-day manhunt. His mother, Mary Lincoln, appeared on television and asked him to turn himself in.

“Sam,” she said at the time. “I’m talking to you. We love you, and we can work out a peaceful solution.”

Law enforcement discovered Lincoln was at the motel, surrounded it and took him down with less-lethal sponge rounds. They said he had two handguns on him plus two rifles, a shotgun and dynamite in his motel room. Goudy said it was meth that got Lincoln into trouble.

“Drugs affect different people differently and on Sam it was just out of control,” she said. “He’s not the same person. You sit next to him, he’s a stand up guy. He’s straight and he’s honest. He’s never lied to me, but when he was a mess he was a different person, and he’s paying for it. He’s paying for every meth addict in Mesa and Garfield counties, I think.”

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