A 31-year-old convicted felon in Colorado will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the “horrific” execution of a 42-year-old man who was shot multiple times in the head outside of his motel room two years ago. A Weld County jury on Friday convicted Joseph Gonzales of murder in the fatal shooting of Abdul Nigel Jefferies, authorities have announced.
“The victim did not deserve this,” Greeley County Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia told the court during Gonzales’ sentencing hearing Friday morning. “This was an execution and a horrific way to die.”
According to a press release from the DA’s office, officers with the Evans Police Department at approximately 3:50 a.m. on Sept. 18, 2020 responded to a 911 call about shots being fired at the Rodeway Inn located in the 3000 block of 8th Avenue. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders found Jefferies’ lifeless body outside on the balcony of a room located on the second floor of the establishment. He had been “shot several times, including twice in the head,” police said.
Officers found and arrested a man fleeing the scene of the shooting who had blood all over his clothes, the Greeley Tribune reported. The man reportedly told police that he went to motel to visit Gonzales and another individual after learning that they planned on assaulting Jefferies. The man in custody said he went to Gonzales’ room prior to the shooting and tried to leave several times but was told he’d be killed if he left the room.
He said one of the other men then brought one or two handguns into the room, referring to them as “hardware,” according to the report. The three men then reportedly headed to Jefferies’ room in the same motel where his girlfriend informed the men that Jefferies would be right back.
Surveillance footage reportedly showed Gonzales walking right to Jefferies and shooting “at or near his head.” As Jefferies ran away, Gonzales reportedly shot him in the back, causing him to fall to the ground. The footage then reportedly showed Gonzales shooting Jefferies several more times before approaching the victim and placing the barrel of the gun in direct contact with Jefferies’ head and delivering two final shots, one to the front of Jefferies’ forehead and another to the top of his head.
Gonzales could then be seen returning to his room, per the report.
Investigators were quickly able to identify and locate Gonzales, who had only been released from prison a few months earlier and was wearing a GPS ankle monitor as a condition of his parole. He had been convicted of second-degree murder in 2012.
The Tribune reported that investigators obtained the GPS data from Gonzales’ ankle monitor which showed that he was at the scene of Jefferies’ motel at the time he was killed. He was arrested in his room a short while later.
In an interview with investigators, Gonzales reportedly confessed to killing Jefferies, saying he did so because the victim “did something” to one of his close friends.
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