The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: Deputy’s killer to grow old behind prison walls
Author: The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Editorial Board - May 31, 2018 - Updated: May 31, 2018
What if a tough prosecutorial stance led to a life sentence for the juvenile who killed Mesa County Sheriff’s Deputy Derek Geer, only to become grist for an appeal based on constitutionality questions?
The possibility loomed large in discussions about whether Mesa County prosecutors should cut a deal with Austin Holzer, who was a couple months shy of turning 18 when he fatally shot Geer in February 2016.
In the end, it was Geer’s family that decided the no-quarter approach — and the threat of trial error — was a risk they preferred to avoid, opting to secure a long prison sentence for Holzer by giving their blessing for a plea bargain.