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Man accused of killing Adams Co. Deputy Heath Gumm arraigned; DA still seeking death penalty

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 18:37:18-04

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Prosecutors are moving forward with plans to pursue the death penalty for the man suspected of shooting and killing Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm last year.

The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed notice late last year that District Attorney Dave Young would seek the death penalty for Dreion Dearing, 23.

Dearing was arraigned Monday on charges of first-degree murder of a peace officer after deliberation, first-degree felony murder of a peace officer, first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree felony murder, first-degree burglary, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and third-degree assault.

A judge entered pleas of not guilty on Dearing’s behalf on all the charges, prosecutors said. Dearing had previously pleaded not guilty in September.

Dearing is accused of shooting and killing Gumm on Jan. 24, 2018 when Gumm and another deputy responded to an assault call near 86th and Edison Street in Thornton. Investigators believed Dearing was lying in wait for Gumm before he shot him.

It’s unclear if Dearing would ever face the death penalty if convicted, as state lawmakers are considering a bill that would abolish capital punishment in Colorado.

There are only three people currently on Colorado’s death row, and just one person has been executed since Colorado reintroduced capital punishment in the 1970s.

Jury selection for Dearing’s trial is set to begin on Sept. 3.