Leadville Bartender’s Killer Pleads Guilty
Yesterday, April 25, in the Lake County courtroom, Matthew James Haley, 30, pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Murder of Jordan Gausman, 31, for a fatal stabbing outside Leadville’s Silver Dollar Saloon almost a year ago on May 2, 2016.
While Haley was originally charged with 1st degree murder, a plea agreement resulted in a dismissal of the initial murder charge. The 2nd degree plead contemplates a sentence between 30 and 40 years, of course that will be left to the court’s discretion.
A sentencing hearing has been set for June 28 at 8:30 a.m., in the District Court of Lake County before the Honorable Judge Mark Thompson
Leadville Today broke the STORY last May when Gausman and Haley got into a confrontation that ended in murder outside Leadville’s Legendary Irish pub on historic Harrison Avenue.
According to official documents released by Bruce Brown, District Attorney for the 5th Judicial District, which includes Lake County:
(The two men) and had been talking at the bar, when Haley became inexplicably agitated towards Gausman. A discussion ensued about both men having served in the military. While Haley was paying for his beer, he pushed and struck Gausman on his chest and head and ‘invited’ him outside the bar. Gausman paid his tab shortly after, and he and a friend left the bar. Haley attacked Gausman without warning moments later in front of the bar, punching him repeatedly in the face, knocking him to the ground, where he was then kicked.
Victim Gausman tried to stand up, when Haley held him, pulled a knife from a leg sheath, stabbing Gausman on his left side and causing a fatal injury. Haley fled the scene, and an intense manhunt began. Gausman was eventually airlifted to St. Anthony’s Hospital, where he died shortly after his arrival. Haley turned himself in to the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office May 7, 2016.
“Today’s plea of guilty is a step towards closure and part of the community grieving for the loss of Jordan Gausman, who was a friend of our small Leadville community,” commented Bruce Brown, District Attorney.
Judge Thompson will also sentence Haley that same date for a separate felony case in which he assisted another inmate in the Lake County Jail with their attempt to escape from the facility on January 12, 2017.