Leadville local Dylan Gregg was sentenced to nine years in the Department of Corrections on Friday afternoon. Gregg pled guilty to second-degree assault in May, the result of a 2018 officer-involved shooting incident with Leadville Police Officer Eric Thorne.
According to the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Thorne arrived at Gregg’s residence early Oct. 30 after the LPD received a call from Gregg’s wife Lisa Klopfenstein reporting a domestic-violence issue.
After Thorne made his presence known, Gregg reportedly threw objects at the officer through the home’s window. Gregg then charged Thorne and punched him in the head despite Thorne’s attempts to taze him, the DA’s Office said. The officer then shot Gregg three times.
“I was in the most terrified position of my life,” Thorne told Lake County Judge Catherine Cheroutes at the sentencing hearing. “I did not get into this career to shoot people but he left me no choice.”
Gregg was transported to a hospital on the Front Range where he received treatment for the gunshot wounds. Alcohol and drug testing later determined that Gregg had a blood alcohol content of 0.145% and evidence of recent cocaine and marijuana use on the night of the incident.
Gregg’s history of criminality and substance abuse were discussed throughout the sentencing hearing. The assault conviction resulting from the incident was Gregg’s ninth felony conviction since 2005.
“An assault on an officer is intolerable,” Deputy DA Lauren Crisera said before requesting a 10-year DOC sentence. “A strong message of deterrence needs to be sent from the bench that it will not be tolerated.”
The defense asked for a six-year sentence, noting that Gregg did not physically injure Thorne, had maintained sobriety, kept up with his bond requirements and taken accountability for his actions in the court’s pre-sentence investigation report.
“Dylan had a wake-up call with sobriety when he was shot … it’s night and day from before the shooting,” Klopfenstein told the judge in support of her husband. “I have seen the beginnings of a transformation in this man,” Klopenstein’s mother added.
“This is not a straightforward sentencing,” Cheroutes told the courtroom after a brief recess.
Cheroutes complimented Gregg’s “exemplary” compliance with his bond conditions and the steadfast support of his family. But the judge also noted Gregg’s addiction issues and the serious nature of an assault on a police officer.
“We cannot be safe in a community with a lack of respect for law enforcement,” Cheroutes said before delivering the nine-year sentence.
Gregg’s case is not the only of its kind in the 5th Judicial District this year. In January, a man was sentenced to four years in the DOC for assaulting a Dillon Police Department officer. In May, a different man was sentenced to 13 years for assaulting a Breckenridge Police Department officer.
“I’ve lived a selfish life,” Gregg told the courtroom at the sentencing hearing. “I know I have a lifetime of stuff to overcome but I’m here to take accountability.”