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Pagosan gets 12 years for attempted murder

By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

Pagosan Tony “Marvin” Lujan was sentenced to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections on Tuesday afternoon for his conviction of attempted second-degree murder.

Lujan entered a guilty plea for the charge in District Court on Sept. 4, with a presumptive sentence range of 10 to 32 years in prison.

District Court Judge Gregory Lyman began the hearing by stating he had been given dozens of letters concerning Lujan, and that he had read, “every word of every one” in contemplating Lujan’s sentence.

Additionally, several family members and friends spoke on behalf of Lujan at the sentencing, with several more in attendance.

The first to speak in favor of Lujan, though, was his public defender, Danielle Touart, who called it a privilege to know Lujan.

“He is a good man,” Touart said, noting Lujan’s history in the community and lack of prior felony convictions.

Touart stated the belief that the incident in question was a, “quick, bad decision” that was not accompanied by intent to hurt anyone, but took place in the, “heat of passion,” and was followed by Lujan turning himself in.

Touart also spoke of Lujan’s five children, who were later revealed to range in age from 8 to 24 years old, and Lujan’s decision to take the plea deal in lieu of risking being given more time in prison.

Also mentioned were the goals held by Lujan — to receive his GED while in prison, and to become a motorcycle mechanic upon release.

Though Touart admitted Lujan’s pre-sentencing report suggested a 15-year sentence, Touart requested the minimum 10-year sentence.

Following Touart, 14 others spoke in favor of Lujan, each receiving applause at the end of their statements.

Throughout the statements, Lujan, as well as those speaking, were emotional.

Many of the comments touched on Lujan’s love for his children, work ethic, remorse shown during visits with Lujan, called Lujan a good, upstanding man, and asked for leniency from Lyman.

Many of those who spoke offered well-wishes and words of support to Lujan as they parted from the podium.

Several comments also referred to Lujan’s 17-year, volatile relationship with the female victim, Laura Ray, and suggested that Lujan’s crime was committed in the heat of the moment. To that end, several mentioned Lujan’s skills as a hunter, noting that, had he intended to shoot the male victim, he could have.

Following those speaking in favor of Lujan, Ray’s mother, Debbie Ray, spoke, stating domestic violence was always present in the couple’s home.

Early into Debbie Ray’s statement, reactions from those in attendance prompted Lyman to command respect or he would hold the sentencing in an empty courtroom.

Debbie Ray continued, noting that she felt the incident was a random shooting and suggested that 10 years in prison would not be long enough.

Deputy District Attorney Alex Lowe was the next to speak, suggested that Lujan’s incident was a, “senseless act of violence,” that grew from an assault into a situation that came very close to being even more serious and aggravated.

Lowe suggested that Lujan had, “plenty of time” between the assault and the shooting to know what he was doing, and that a minimum of 15 years was appropriate.

Lowe said pre-sentencing assessments completed for Lujan showed a high likelihood of reoffense and domestic violence in the future.

Lujan was the last to speak before the sentence was handed down, apologizing for his actions and reading two letters he wrote that discussed his community support, history and remorse.

“After seventeen years, I finally lost it,” Lujan said, noting that he has a job lined up following his release from prison.

Lujan also asked for leniency that would allow him to remain in the lives of his children.

“Mr. Lujan, this is a day I hoped would never come,” Lyman began, noting that Lujan’s dangerous relationship with the female victim had brought him to court several times, but that he would not tolerate blame being shifted, clarifying that the sentencing concerned Lujan’s actions.

Lyman said that, while it remains unknown if Lujan intended to shoot the male victim during the incident, Lujan did fire a gun in a downtown business.

Lyman then imposed a 12-year prison sentence for Lujan, with a mandatory 5-year parole sentence to follow, and credit for 191 days served as of the hearing.

Lyman suggested that the sentence would allow Lujan to be there for his children.

The conviction stems from an April 29 incident in which Lujan shot at a man at Plaza Liquors, located at 511 San Juan Street.

Lujan originally faced charges that included attempted first-degree murder, criminal attempt second-degree kidnapping, third-degree assault and violation of a protection order.

According to Det. Scott Maxwell of the Pagosa Springs Police Department, officers were dispatched to Plaza Liquors at approximately 10:20 a.m. on April 29, to respond to a report of shots fired.

Upon their arrival, officers learned that a man had fired several shots at the location, including at least one shot fired inside the store. A victim at the scene reported that no one was struck by the shots, Maxwell said.

Maxwell said the victim reported that he was walking with a female companion (both parties are 33 years old) near the alleyway adjacent to the 600 block of San Juan Street when they were approached by Lujan, the female’s ex-husband.

The woman had a restraining order against Lujan prohibiting him from contacting her, Maxwell noted.

Lujan then allegedly attempted to pull the woman into his vehicle, prompting the male victim to intervene. Lujan also reportedly struck the woman during the confrontation, Maxwell said.

“A confrontation took place between the man in the vehicle, who was Tony ‘Marvin’ Lujan, and the woman. The male party intervened and the two men began fighting,” Maxwell explained. “The fight was broken up and the victim and the female began to walk away, at which point the suspect reportedly attempted to run them over with his vehicle.”

Maxwell reported that the two victims ran off the hill and to Plaza Liquor, where, a few minutes later, Lujan showed up in his vehicle.

At that point, Maxwell said Lujan got out of his vehicle and opened fire on the male victim, who then ran into the store and was pursued by the suspect.

Lujan fired at least one shot inside the store before fleeing the area, Maxwell said.

The female victim fled the scene to the nearby Sonoco gas station, while the male victim waited at Plaza Liquor for law enforcement to arrive, Maxwell said.

Maxwell said numerous officers from the PSPD and deputies from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office participated in the investigation of the event and search for the subject — an effort helped by the fact that the entire PSPD force was on duty at a firing range at the time of the incident.

A short time later, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Lujan turned himself in to the ACSO.

The handgun, hidden by Lujan, was recovered later.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on November 19, 2012.