ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. – A Sheridan man who beat this roommate to death will sit behind bars for the next 45 years, an official with the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Michael Jon Stevens, 31, pleaded guilty on July 12 to first-degree attempted murder and reckless manslaughter in the 2016 death of Seven McManus, 48. He was sentenced on Thursday.
Stevens called Sheridan police on Aug. 29, 2016, to report he had killed his roommate, according to an official statement from the DA’s office.
When officers arrived at the apartment, they found Stevens sitting outside. He was immediately taken into custody after finding the victim on the floor “amid the scene of a violent crime,” said the DA spokesperson in a press release sent to Denver7.
Stevens would later tell detectives that he had visited a friend the night before and returned to the apartment about 5 a.m. when McManus offered him some meth.
After ingesting the drug, Stevens told detectives “he had the sudden realization that drugs had ruined his life and that McManus was responsible for getting him addicted again,” according to statement.
Stevens then reportedly took out his frustration out on the victim by beating him to death.
“In his interview he demonstrated a “soccer-style” kick to detectives. When the victim stopped moving, Stevens stated he thought McManus was “playing possum” so he kicked him again,” the DA’s office spokesperson said in the statement.
At the time the crime was taking place, another roommate was present in the apartment but left to avoid the conflict, according to the DA’s office.
After the deadly beating, Stevens contacted a neighbor who told him to call an ambulance, which he did not do until almost two hours had passed.
This defendant could have stopped the beating three different times before it turned from an assault into a homicide. Instead, he literally went through a door to get at the victim, and once the victim was down, continued to kick him until he was dying,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson, who prosecuted the case. “Then callously and with a shocking lack of concern, did not call for help until Mr. McManus was beyond help.”
On Thursday Arapahoe District Judge Kurt Horton sentenced Stevens to 45 years in prison on the attempted murder charge, and six years on the manslaughter charge, to be served concurrently.
“This defendant has demonstrated that the best place for him is prison,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “He savagely beat someone with whom he had a relationship, expressed remorse but did nothing to help him. The family of the victim will live with this defendant’s actions forever, and he deserves to sit behind bars and think about what he did.”