Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Funky Buddha owner sentenced in shooting : "The owner of a Denver bar who shot a burglar pleaded guilty Tuesday to tampering with evidence, and received a deferred prison sentence with no prison time. Christakes Christou, 60, was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault after he shot Dwayne Stepp, who broke into Christou's Funky Buddha Lounge, 776 Lincoln St., at 3:11 a.m. Jan. 3. A judge threw out the attempted first-degree murder charge earlier. Christou still faced the assault charge, which carries a sentence of 10 to 32 years on conviction. But prosecutors agreed Tuesday to dismiss that charge in return for his plea to tampering with evidence, a class 6 felony. The tampering charge stemmed from an allegation that Christou picked up a gunshell casing at the shooting scene and put it in his pocket. Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver district attorney's office, said prosecutors agreed to the plea bargain because "we didn't believe there was a reasonable likelihood of conviction had we gone ahead with the first-degree assault charge." Denver District Judge Shelley Gilman gave Christou a deferred sentence. Christou will not, under the plea agreement, have to pay restitution to Stepp. The deferred sentence means the case will be dismissed as though it never happened if Christou doesn't break the law in the next two years."

MS: Pawnshop robber shot: "A man allegedly attempting armed robbery at a local pawnshop was shot in the head by a store employee Monday morning. The man is in critical condition at a local hospital. Three subjects entered Old South Pawn Shop on St. Catherine Street around 10 a.m., Police Chief Mike Mullins said. Two of the men had their faces covered and the third stayed by the door. One man was carrying a handgun in each hand, demanded money and soon fired into the store, Mullins said. "The employee returned fire and struck him in the head," Mullins said. The employee held the other two suspects at gunpoint in the parking lot until police arrived. Two men were arrested, while the third was transported by ambulance. "The employee appears to have fired in self defense," Mullins said. "No charges have been filed against him."

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