25 years in prison for Colorado man convicted in Lawrence armed robbery spree and sex crime

photo by: Nick Krug

Elmoses Blackwell stands for his sentencing alongside his attorney Matt Franzenburg on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Douglas County District Court. Blackwell was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for a series of robberies in 2017 including one involving a sex crime.

A Colorado man who terrorized multiple Lawrence residents at gunpoint last year — some on the street and some in their own homes — has been ordered to more than 25 years in prison.

At his sentencing hearing on Friday, Elmoses Blackwell, 28, of Denver, told Douglas County District Court Judge Kay Huff that he realized the pain he caused his victims and that he was sorry for the events.

Part of what led police to identify Blackwell as a suspect in the string of armed robberies were his tattoos — they cover his face, neck and both arms.

“People look at my appearance and automatically think I don’t care,” Blackwell said. “I do care.”

Blackwell, who has prior felonies on his record in Kansas and Colorado, said he started doing drugs at age 13, when an adult he trusted provided them to him. He said he’d never gotten “proper treatment” for his drug addiction and that this experience, leading to him being clean now, has changed his life.

Blackwell must register as an offender for the rest of his life and remain supervised for the rest of his life once he’s released from prison, Huff said.

He is convicted of one count of aggravated criminal sodomy and two counts of robbery. In July, he pleaded no contest to the crimes in exchange for other charges — including aggravated robbery, assault, burglary and kidnapping — to be dropped.

Prosecutor Deborah Moody said that the victims approved of the plea agreement, including two who testified at a preliminary hearing and didn’t want to have to testify at a trial.

“The court is aware of the emotional impact it’s had on them,” Moody said.

On May 28, 2017, three men, including Blackwell, barged into an apartment on Emery Road and demanded of a resident and his 18-year-old girlfriend, “where is the weed,” the Journal-World previously reported.

The victims told police they were forced into a bedroom, where the suspect later identified as Blackwell pointed his gun at them and ordered the woman to perform a sex act on her boyfriend. The suspects fled after stealing guns, TVs, cellphones, money, keys and cars. The aggravated criminal sodomy charge came from that incident.

Just more than a week later, Blackwell victimized more people in a string of armed robberies on June 6 and 7, 2017.

Those incidents began with an armed home invasion and robbery in the 1700 block of West 24th Street, where victims in the home included a 13-year-old.

The next day, an armed robbery was reported about 5:30 p.m. in a parking lot at 23rd and Louisiana streets, and that was followed by other reports of an “incident” involving a gun a few minutes later in the 1900 block of Rhode Island Street and a disturbance with a gun seconds after that near 15th Street and Haskell Avenue.

After a brief car and foot pursuit, police captured Blackwell along with other suspects in the car.

At Blackwell’s sentencing, his appointed attorney, Matt Franzenburg, emphasized his client’s remorse and noted that Blackwell had support from several relatives who came to the hearing from Colorado.

“He’s hurt himself, people in his family and people he doesn’t even know,” Franzenburg said.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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