Shawn Geerdes (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

Colorado man gets 144 years for murdering his former marijuana business partner, igniting wildfire as cover-up

An Elbert County man was sentenced Tuesday to 144 years in prison for killing his former marijuana business partner and then setting a wildfire about 100 miles from the slaying to try to cover up his crime, prosecutors say.

Shawn Geerdes, a 48-year-old Agate man, was convicted in July of second-degree murder, setting a wildfire and second-degree arson. Geerdes killed 44-year-old Jason Dosa, a father from Parker.

Geerdes was found to be a habitual offender, and that contributed to his long sentence.

“You had a horrible criminal history,” Judge Jeffrey Holmes told Geerdes in imposing the sentence, according to an 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office news release.

On Sept. 20, 2015, Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a wildfire in the Deer Creek areas that had been started by a car blaze. In the vehicle’s trunk, authorities found Dosa’s body — which had been shot five times.

“Investigators traced Dosa’s movements and found his last location at a marijuana greenhouse in Agate on land owned by Geerdes,” the release said. “Dosa and Geerdes were former partners in the grow operation. Investigators found evidence at the growhouse including bloodstains and spent shell casings that indicated Dosa had been killed there and his body later transported to Jefferson County.”

The case was tried in Elbert County.

“It is outrageous behavior best reserved for a Hollywood movie. For all that he has taken from others, Geerdes has now lost almost everything,” 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said in a statement. “That is justice in this case.”

Dosa’s family spoke to The Denver Post after the slaying, saying he was a family man who was “bigger than this world.”

“There has been a hole ripped in our hearts that will never be filled,” said Justin Baker, Dosa’s brother.

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