Judge releases court records in attempted murder case
GRAND JUNCTION – According to court records, James Finnegan was labeled a “snitch,” lured to the desert and shot six times.But Mesa County Sheriff’s investigators insist Finnegan, 20, wasn’t the “snitch,” and Samuel Lincoln, 24, and Charles Pruitt, 39, plotted a botched execution Nov. 23, based on a bad assumption.Court records for Lincoln and Pruitt, which had been sealed by Judge Nicholas Massaro at the request of the district attorney’s office, were released Tuesday by the judge.Lincoln is also charged with attempted murder in Garfield County for stabbing a man during a home invastion at the Fireside Trailer Park in West Glenwood. Lincoln was apprehended Sunday at the Budget Host motel in West Glenwood.Finnegan was shot six times; investigators were already talking with him at St. Mary’s Hospital, according to court records. Finnegan was shot just below his left eye, wrist, hip, back, knee and thigh.Lincoln, Pruitt and Finnegan were all associates in a meth subculture in the Grand Junction area. Investigators said the trio ran with a group close to Christopher Wieberg, 20, who is accused of shooting Thomas Martinez, 28, to death on Oct. 25 over an alleged unpaid drug debt.”Once in the desert, Sam stopped the vehicle and retrieved firearms from the trunk of the car. … There was a conversation by the suspects as to why Finnegan ‘snitched’ on Chris Wieberg. … Finnegan said he did not know what they were talking about.”Lincoln then told Finnegan to “run and jump off a nearby cliff, head first.””No,” Finnegan replied.”Sam then pointed the AR-15 (semi-auto rifle) at his head and shot Finnegan in the face,” the affidavit alleged.A still-conscious Finnegan tried to run away but was shot several more times.Lincoln and Pruitt got back into the car and drove to where he’d fallen, “and shot Finnegan one last time before leaving the area,” investigators said.In a photo line-up Nov. 24, records say Finnegan picked out Pruitt and was “very agitated” at the sight of Lincoln’s photo.”That’s the (expletive) who shot me,” Finnegan said according to records.Finnegan was arrested in a traffic stop Oct. 31 and later interviewed – hours before Wieberg was arrested in a standoff with authorities at a North Avenue trailer park.Wieberg, who’s being held at the jail, is listed as a witness in the affidavits for Pruitt and Lincoln.Lincoln, who’s now being held in Garfield County, is scheduled to be back in Grand Junction Wednesday for his first appearance to face charges in Mesa County.Lincoln faces more potential counts of attempted murder for allegedly firing three shots at a Mesa County Sheriff deputy’s patrol car on Dec. 1 – the two deputies weren’t injured.
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