Ex-Brighton firefighter Randy Cleveland gets probation, deferred sentence in wife-stalking case

Wife says Brighton police failed to protect her

BRIGHTON, Colo. - An ex-Brighton firefighter has received four years probation and a deferred sentence for stalking his now-former wife in connection with allegations that he violently abused her for much of their marriage.

The four-year deferred sentence imposed Friday by Adams County District Judge Mark Warner requires Randy Cleveland to stay out of trouble for four years or potentially face four years in prison and one year in jail, said Special Prosecutor Katharina Booth, who is a Boulder County Chief Deputy District Attorney.

The sentence conditions also require him to complete domestic violence and mental health evaluation and treatment.

Booth said the victim said, "After two very long years through this process, she was glad it was over and the defendant was held responsible for what he had done to her. She was very comfortable with the court's sentence today."

 The 37-year-old Cleveland was arrested in May 2011 and initially faced 15 charges, including several counts of sexual assault, assault causing serious bodily injury and child abuse.

He pleaded guilty last year to felony stalking and misdemeanor attempted assault and the other charges were dismissed in a plea agreement. The former fire lieutenant was also fired from his 15-year job with the Greater Brighton Fire Protection District.

The domestic violence case became a major embarrassment for the Brighton Police Department, which has been accused of failing to properly respond to the wife's repeated 911 calls reporting her husband's physical abuse and threats to kill her.

The former wife filed a federal lawsuit in October 2012 against the city of Brighton, Police Chief Clint Blackhurst and eight officers.

During a "hellish nine months" lasting approximately from October 2010 to July 2011, the lawsuit alleged police denied protective services to the mother of two young children, which "emboldened her abusive husband" and "greatly enhanced the danger to Ms. Cleveland."

When she called 911 in 2010 to report her husband's threat "to kill [her], chop [her] up into pieces, and bury [her] into the ground," the lawsuit asserts that four police officers, "rather than attend to the victim of domestic violence and her two young children,…chose instead to high-five and joke around with Mr. Cleveland in the front yard and would not let Ms. Cleveland outside the home."

It was only after the former wife complained to the Adams County District Attorney's Office that Randy Cleveland was arrested. The Adams County district attorney later asked the Boulder County District Attorney's Office to take over the prosecution of Cleveland to avoid a potential conflict of interest, given local prosecutors' close working relationship with the Brighton Police Department.

The federal lawsuit was settled in late January, but 7NEWS couldn't pin down the terms of the settlement on Friday.

"The matter has been settled," said David Lane, the attorney for the former wife. But Lane said he could not release the terms and conditions of the settlement.

7NEWS left a message with city officials seeking details of the settlement, but no response had been received late Friday afternoon.

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