Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — Fans of the horrorcore rap band Gruesome Denver Killaz might be in for a long wait until “Insaniac” can join the group for its next set of shows.
One of the band’s three members pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal attempt to commit aggravated robbery, and he now faces a potential sentence of two to 16 years in state prison.
Joseph Taylor Ankeney, who stands accused of participating in a botched Alamosa home invasion last summer, admitted to the lesser offense in order to avoid the possibility of an even longer stint behind bars.
Prosecutors initially charged the Denver man with first-degree kidnapping, aggravated robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a stun gun, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, second-degree burglary and misdemeanor theft.
But in exchange for his plea, they arranged to dismiss the original case against him with prejudice. They also agreed not to file any additional charges connected to a second unspecified crime that Ankeney allegedly committed last summer.
In this case, authorities say that Ankeney and three other men forced their way into a State Avenue home last July in a failed attempt to steal an Alamosa couple’s money, drugs and electronics. But police reported that those plans went awry when an alleged victim in the case gained control of the situation and severely injured one of his assailants.
The alleged victims were not present in the courtroom on March 12. But Deputy District Attorney Lara Reincke said the couple believes that Ankeney and his co-defendants would be “getting away with it” if they’re allowed to take advantage of plea deals.
One of those men, Colin Parker Young, was there on Tuesday. But the court postponed his previously continued first appearance until April 11 in order to give the Lakewood man additional time to review a new plea offer.
Young faces nine charges for his alleged role in the home invasion. In addition to two counts each of first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping, he stands accused of first-degree burglary, aggravated robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a stun gun and misdemeanor theft.
In addition to Young and Ankeney, the district attorney’s office is prosecuting two other men in connection with the case. San Luis resident Mario Aragon and Denver-area man David Cordova face almost identical charges.
Both Aragon and Cordova allegedly told police that all four assailants conspired to rob the male victim. According to an official report on the incident, they said they planned to steal one of the man’s vehicles and then drive it to Denver, where they would meet and disperse the items they’d stolen.
The male victim told police that the alleged assailants offered to let the couple go if they told them where their money and drugs were hidden. But they threatened to kill him if he didn’t cooperate, he said.
While Cordova allegedly restrained the woman, the man told police that the other assailants used a stun gun on him. Young also struck him several times with a metal hammer, he said.
The tables turned when the male victim gained control of the hammer and struck Young, sending his alleged attacker to a Lakewood hospital for treatment of severe injuries. The other three suspects, including Ankeney, were apprehended moments after they allegedly fled the scene.
Police say it wasn’t the first time that at least two of the suspects tried to rob the man.
Cordova and Aragon allegedly admitted that they were involved in two previous attempts. Both attempts failed, they said, according to a police report on the incident.
Aragaon’s case is currently set to go to trial on June 24, while Cordova’s trial is scheduled to get under way the following month.
But the court’s calendar is slightly less crowded than it was on Tuesday morning: Twelfth Judicial District Judge Michael Gonzales vacated Ankeney’s pending April jury trial. The case will now move directly to the sentencing phase on May 16.