WELD COUNTY, Colo. – The Weld County District Attorney’s Office isn’t happy that a man convicted of a 2005 attempted murder is being paroled after serving just half of his original sentence.
Jimmy Olivares was convicted in 2005 of attempted murder, first-degree assault and illegal discharge of a firearm charges. He also has past gang ties and had prior convictions on assault, domestic violence and drug charges, according to the district attorney.
According to a letter the district attorney’s office wrote this week, Olivares shot a man during a drug-deal gone bad as the man was trying to escape. The man was then the key witness in Olivares’s trial.
After he was found guilty, Olivares was sentenced to 24 years in prison—“giving the victim and the community ease of mind until the year 2029. At least on paper,” the DA’s Office wrote.
Olivares became eligible for parole in December 2015, and he was granted a Sept. 27 release date in August.
“If you’re counting, that’s about 12 years early,” the district attorney’s office wrote, despite Olivares being eligible for parole.
“But is serving 12 years long enough for attempting to take someone’s life? For inflicting pain on another citizen? For causing terror in the community? We don’t think so, and neither did the judge who imposed the 24-year sentence,” the office wrote.
“Truth in sentencing is the idea in which criminals serve every day of their sentence. We realize the importance of parole eligibility and even give credit to those who are released for good behavior. But violent criminals, especially those repeat offenders like Olivares, should serve every day of their sentence. He had every intention to kill his victim. He was just lucky he had bad aim,” the office continued.
It went further in on the state's parole program afterward.
“This isn’t the first case where the parole board either used poor judgment or showed its inability to hold offenders fully responsible. And it won’t be the last,” the office wrote. “But we refuse to stand by as board members continue to jeopardize public safety. We don’t think it’s right. And neither should you. So from time to time, we’ll tell you about these outrageous early releases. You deserve to know what happens years after the headlines.”
Denver7 has reached out to the state Parole Board and the governor's office for a response but has yet to receive one.