A former Rocky Ford cop found guilty of murder has been sentenced to 16 years. James Ashby was sentenced Thursday morning to a minimum of 16 years.
A jury found Ashby guilty of second-degree murder in June for the shooting death of Jack Jacquez, 27, of Rocky Ford, nearly two years after the incident.
Ashby, a former Rocky Ford police officer, shot and killed Jack Jacquez Jr. in his home in the early morning hours of Oct. 12, 2014, while on-duty.
A jury consisting of 10 women and two men took 11 hours to decide Ashby's fate, second-degree murder, defined as an act in which a person knowingly causes death to another person. It carried a penalty of up to 48 years in prison depending on the severity.
Earlier in October, the family of Jack Jacquez Jr., filed a civil lawsuit against James Ashby, the City of Rocky Ford and former Rocky Ford Police Department Chief Frank Gallegos, all of whom are being accused, in part, for the wrongful and unnecessary death of Jacquez.
A civil suit was filed with the 16th Judicial District Court, in which the plaintiffs, Mariah Talmich, Pamela Payton, Maryah Perez and Viola B. Jacquez, are seeking "All appropriate relief at law and equity; Declaratory relief and other appropriate equitable relief; Economic losses on all claims as allowed by law; Compensatory and consequential damages, including damages for emotional distress, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other pain and suffering on all claims allowed by law in an amount to be determined at trial; Attorneys' fees and the costs associated with this action, including expert witness fees, on all claims allowed by law; Pre-and post-judgment interest at the lawful rate; and any other appropriate relief at law and equity that this court deems just and proper."
In their statement, the plaintiffs claim, "This is a case about a police department that hires without any vetting. It is about a police department that gave a badge to one such officer, yet failed to provide him with any training regarding excessive force, including deadly force. And it is a case about an officer who regularly resorted to excessive force but did not receive discipline for his actions. The consequence of these customs, policies and practices: the senseless shooting death of Jack J. Jacquez, a 27-year-old father of three, by Officer James Ashby of the Rocky Ford Police Department.
"When the City of Rocky Ford hired Officer Ashby to patrol its streets, it knew that Officer Ashby had been the subject of multiple internal affairs investigations and was ineligible for rehire from his previous law enforcement employer. Ignoring these obvious red flags, the RFPD hired Officer Ashby without any meaningful investigation into his background. And, despite Officer Ashby's blemished record, the RFPD failed to provide him with any basic training. Officer Ashby was instead permitted to police by his own rules. For Officer Ashby, this meant employing overwhelming force against any civilians who dared challenge his authority."