Steamboat Springs A Steamboat Springs man who stabbed another resident in the back after a night of partying was sentenced on Monday to 12 years in prison.
At his sentencing hearing, Edward Moore, 49, apologized for hurting Brian Lithgow.
"I am sorry for the injuries I caused Brian," Moore said. "I would change what happened if I could."
Moore said he used poor judgment and excessive force but was prepared to pay for his mistake.
"I would not have attempted to protect people who were only out to protect their own hides," Moore said.
District Judge Richard Doucette sentenced Moore to 12 years in prison for second-degree attempted murder, eight years for first-degree assault with a deadly weapon and four years for possession of a controlled substance. The sentences will run concurrently.
As a condition of parole, Moore will be required to make restitution to the victim and the district attorney's office. That amount will be determined at a hearing in June.
Moore was silent when Doucette imposed the sentence and only spoke when the judge allowed him to address the court.
Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said Moore made a rude gesture to the jury when the verdict was read, but jurors contacted did not remember that.
St. James also said that Moore threatened to kill him, but Moore denied that and said it was a misunderstanding.
Moore's attorney, Ron Smith, said his client has no criminal history for violence.
"Maybe he talks, but he's never been charged with any type of assault in his 49 years. He does not resolve disputes by means of violence," Smith said.
Smith said the jury rejected Moore's argument that he stabbed Lithgow in self-defense.
"However, the jury did find that Mr. Moore's acts were performed, not after deliberation, but upon a sudden heat of passion caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim to incite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person," Moore said.
St. James said Moore will probably only serve about six years of the 12-year sentence, if he gets his time reduced for good behavior in prison. Doucette gave Moore credit for 240 days of presentence confinement.
When the stabbing occurred in September last year, Moore said he "lost it" after Lithgow hit a mutual friend in the face at her Copper Mountain Estates home. The two men's accounts of the scuffle differ, but Moore admitted to stabbing Lithgow twice.
One of the six men and six women jurors who sat through a four-day trial in April said it was a difficult decision to find Moore guilty, even though he admitted to the crime.
"I think we all felt bad with the decision we made, but it was the right thing to do, considering the evidence," the juror said.
She said the deliberations were hard and took several votes to find Moore guilty.
"No matter what the judge says, people go in there with their beliefs," said the juror, a Hayden resident. "You put 12 people in a room who were brought up totally differently and it's hard."
She said the jurors found it hard to determine which witnesses were lying or telling the truth.
"We all felt he was set up by his friends and provoked," the juror said. "If we could convict them all, we would have. They all had a part in it."
A 42-year-old West Routt resident who served on the jury agreed. She said someone at the home should have called police when the homeowner came in with a bloody nose, before the stabbing.
"The problem was there was so much cocaine involved, I don't think anyone was worried that someone might die. They were more worried about getting caught with drugs," the juror said.
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