Skip to main content

Crime Watch report

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
August 30, 2023

Man pleads guilty in 2011 killing at Taco Bell

The man accused of murdering a 31-year-old as part of a 2011 crime spree pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Jaime Cardenas, who was 19 at the time of the crime spree, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 27.

Cardenas and three other people have been accused of killing 31-year-old Jorge Alberto Carrasco outside of the Taco Bell at 859 North Ave.

Two others have been sentenced related to the incident. Christian Fuentes was sentenced to 72 years in prison, and Lester Miranda-Davis was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Miranda-Davis was later granted a reconsideration with the support of the victims and sentenced to community corrections. Another suspect, Fidel Silva, is believed to be still at large.

Cardenas was extradited to the U.S. in 2019 after being arrested in Mexico. He had been set for a trial to start in February 2024.



A man accused of shooting at his niece’s ex-boyfriend after the ex-boyfriend was accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl has been sentenced to 10 years in the department of corrections.

Obed Gomez, 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault with a crime of violence sentence enhancer.

Gomez was arrested in October 2022 after police said one person was shot in the head near D Road and 19 Road.

A witness told police they believed Gomez had committed the shooting.



A man who was shot by police during an incident near the Red Roof Inn at the Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 6 and 50 interchange has been sentenced to three years in the department of corrections.

Joseph Mendez, 28, pleaded guilty to felony menacing, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and violation of a protection order. He was sentenced to three years in the department of corrections for the menacing and possession of a weapon charges, and those sentences will run concurrently, according to court documents.

Mendez was experiencing a mental health crisis and had stolen a gun from his ex-wife in December 2022, according to police, and was frequently contacting his ex-wife via phone.

When officers contacted Mendez, he fled on foot and held a gun to his head, according to the arrest affidavit. He was shot in the back by Grand Junction Police officer Micah Conrads. Both Conrads and officer Joey Gonzales, who also shot at Mendez during the incident, were cleared in the shooting.


Sex offender loses 9th appeal over 30-year span

Aug 23, 2023 

Thirty-two years after he was convicted, and one month before his next parole hearing, a local man convicted on charges of sexually assaulting a child lost an appeal again to have his conviction overturned.

A three-judge panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals was having none of what Patrick L. Brenner had to say.

“He claimed that his guilty plea was invalid because he was never advised that he would be subject to a period of parole or what the length of that parole would be,” Judge Janice Davidson wrote in last Thursday’s opinion, which was joined by Chief Judge Gilbert Roman and Judge Steve Bernard.

“(State law) provides that claims for post-conviction relief in cases involving non-class 1 felonies must be filed within three years of the date the conviction becomes final unless the defendant establishes justifiable excuse or excusable neglect for the late filing,” Davidson added. “Accordingly, he had until 1994 to challenge the validity of his plea on the asserted bases, and the instant motion, filed 27 years later, is time barred.”

Brenner, now 56, had pleaded guilty in 1991 to three counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, felony theft and sexual assault on a child, for which he was given concurrent sentences of 1 day to life in prison, but with the possibility of parole. He has been eligible for parole numerous times over the years, and is up for it again next month, but remains incarcerated at the Fremont Correctional Facility in Cañon City.

Over the years, he has filed eight appeals challenging his conviction and sentence, and even tried to take the case to federal court. Most of those appeals were filed without the aid of an attorney. He lost each time.

In 2013, he filed a federal lawsuit against then Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Mesa County District Attorney and now Assistant U.S. Attorney Pete Hautzinger; former DA Stephen ErkenBrack; and two local state judges, including now Chief Judge Brian Flynn, who presided over part of his case.

In that lawsuit, Brenner tried to argue that there were “irregularities and defects” in his state trial and plea agreement, but a federal judge and a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the entire thing, saying his lawsuit was frivolous and warned him against filing any future such claims.


District Attorney
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Crime Watch - a single pair handcuffs