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Man charged in 1984 hammer murders

On March 2, Colorado authorities arraigned a 59-year-old man on murder and sexual assault charges stemming from a crime spree he allegedly committed in Arapahoe County 36 years ago. He was recently extradited to Colorado from Nevada to face the charges.

Media outlets report that the defendant is accused of killing a father, a mother and their 7-year-old daughter with a hammer in 1984. He is additionally accused of sexually assaulting the couple's younger daughter. He was formally charged with three counts of murder after deliberation in the first degree, three counts of felony murder, one count of attempted murder in the first degree, two counts of sexual assault in the first degree, one count of assault in the first degree, two counts of sexual assault on a child, one count of burglary in the first degree and five sentence enhancers.

On March 10, the defendant is also scheduled to be arraigned in a Jefferson County court for allegedly killing a 50-year-old Lakewood woman in 1984. According to authorities, DNA testing linked him to both crimes. Prosecutors say they intend to pursue both cases independently and concurrently. The defendant is currently being held without bond at the Arapahoe County Detention Center.

Felony charges such as murder and assault can lead to harsh consequences for defendants who are convicted, including lengthy prison terms, steep fines, probation and a permanent criminal record. Because the potential penalties are so severe, it might be advisable to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. The attorney may be able to investigate the case and poke holes in the prosecution's case. If that isn't possible, the attorney might suggest negotiating a plea bargain in hopes of getting the charges and penalties reduced.

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