Parachute man gets 30 years in assault on neighbor
Shawn Angell of Parachute was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison after being charged with breaking into his neighbor’s home and sexually assaulting her last year.
Angell, 45, who is married with children, was arrested on March 24, 2013, after a woman reported that a man had “broken into her home, hit her over the head, shocked her and then raped her,” according to the arrest affidavit in the case. Deputies from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office canvassed the area based on the woman’s description and spoke to several neighbors. A search of Angell’s home turned up a stun gun and a pair of women’s underwear, which were later alleged to belong to the victim.
He was charged with second-degree kidnapping, sex assault by force, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree criminal trespass, use of a stun gun in commission of a crime, as well as misdemeanor third-degree assault and child abuse because the woman’s infant was in the home.
After a state evaluation undermined his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, Angell pleaded guilty in August to second-degree kidnapping (a class two felony) and attempted sexual assault (a class five felony).
With aggravating circumstances, Angell faced 16 to 48 years in prison. With input from the victim, defense and prosecution were able to agree on a 30-year sentence for kidnapping and a concurrent three-year sentence for sexual assault, with 600 days already served.
In addition to his prison sentence, Angell will have to pay the cost of his prosecution, undergo treatment recommended by his psychosexual evaluation, submit to DNA testing and abide by a mandatory protection order against the victim.
Accompanied by her fiance, the victim made an appearance at the sentencing hearing but declined to make a statement. Angell, looking little like his mug shot with an unruly beard and long hair, also declined to address the court, although he provided a written statement to the judge.
That left Deputy District Attorney Steve Mallory to recount the incident.
According to Mallory, Angell bought a Taser the day before the assault, assembled a set of burglary tools and pried open his neighbor’s back door in the early hours of the morning. Mallory said he then repeatedly hit and choked the woman and ultimately Tased her. She convinced her assailant to leave her alive, although he forced her to remove physical evidence with water and vinegar before he fled the scene.
“This was a planned home invasion and violent sex assault,” Mallory said. “It’s an incredibly serious and disturbing crime.”
“The victim in this case was at home, asleep, where you’re supposed to be safest,” he added.
Associate public defenders Sara Steele and Elise Myer didn’t contest the brutality of the attack, but emphasized Angell’s mental deterioration following surgery to remove a brain tumor.
“Something went terribly wrong, terribly quickly,” said Myer, who had previously represented Angell in a criminal mischief case. “I look at Mr. Angell today and I don’t recognize him at all as the man I knew in 2012.”
“He is incredibly sorry. We are all sorry for what happened,” she added.
Petre wasn’t convinced Angell’s statement, which was not made public but which the judge called “chilling,” showed any remorse toward his victim.
“Mr. Angell just doesn’t get it,” Petre said. “He doesn’t understand the impact and the significance of what he has done. With treatment, that should change.”
Although he noted that he is “not a fan of stipulated sentences” and asserted that 30 years was not the sentence he would have imposed, Petre felt the agreement was “in the right ballpark.” Beyond the potential for rehabilitation, he emphasized the need for punishment and his obligation to protect others.
“The punishment should be commensurate with the really disturbing and … heinous nature of what Mr. Angell deliberately chose to do that night,” he said. “At this time, Mr. Angell is a loose cannon and he cannot remain in the community.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Glenwood Springs City Council will discuss how to proceed with a major funding shortfall for the Three Mile Creek Confluence project, which came up nearly two-thirds short of the $631,771 estimated cost.