Thornton man given life sentence for injuring, eluding police

Staff Report
Posted

A former Thornton resident will spend the rest of his life in jail for causing two high speed chases in December 2010 and attempting to kill two police officers during his last getaway attempt.

Andrew Terry, 35, was sentenced by Adams County District Court Judge Thomas Ensor on Jan. 25 to a total of 202 years in prison for attempted first-degree murder, second-degree assault, criminal trespass, third-degree assault, vehicular eluding and criminal mischief.

The sentence signaled an end to Terry’s crime spree, which began on Dec. 17, 2010. On that day, several Westminster Police Department officers attempted to contact Terry after he was suspected of breaking into vehicles in a parking lot near 88th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard.

Terry then led Westminster Police Department officers on a high-speed chase and successfully eluded them after crashing his car head-on into a police vehicle driven by Westminster Officer Richard Salazar.

Nearly two weeks later, Thornton Police Department Officer Evan Nau responded to a call of a suspected intoxicated driver around 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2010, and saw Terry walking to his truck in the Walmart parking lot on East 128th Avenue in Thornton.

The caller told responders that Terry had been driving recklessly earlier in the day and almost caused an accident near 128th and Holly Street.

Nau approached Terry’s car just as Terry got inside of it and then gave commands for Terry to get out of the car. Terry refused Nau’s commands and a physical struggle took place in which Terry was able to drive off after slamming Nau’s hand into the car door and running over his foot.

Terry then led officers from several law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase through Thornton, Commerce City and unincorporated Adams County.

Police were able to briefly stop Terry’s car near Interstate 76 and East 96th Avenue, but Terry was able to regain control and drove his car toward Commerce City Police Officer Derek Richter, who was standing near the entrance ramp to the interstate.

Richter, who was able to avoid Terry’s car, was not injured.

Terry barreled down the interstate for another several more miles before being stopped by the Colorado State Patrol near the 9700 block of Steele Street. In all, the high-speed pursuit involved police officers from the Thornton and Commerce City police departments, Colorado State Patrol, and Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

In October 2012, an Adams County jury found Terry guilty of the charges that stemmed out of those incidences.

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