BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – More than a year after being violently attacked in the mountains with a machete, Jadon Jellis continues to heal.
“It’s hard to explain when something traumatic, really traumatic happens to somebody it’s really hard to think about and it’s really hard not to think about,” Jellis said.
On Thursday he came one step closer to a full recovery. His attacker Tyrus Vanmatre was found guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping and assault.
“It’s always in the back of my mind and it will probably always be in the back of my mind,” Jellis said.
Over nearly two weeks of testimony a jury heard how Jellis came to Denver from Thermopolis, Wyoming, with $50,000 he made from selling his father’s house. He had planned to move in with Vanmatre, 21.
The night of June 17, 2014, Jellis says he agreed to travel with Vanmatre in his Chevy Blazer to a party in the mountains. Jellis said Vanmatre parked the Blazer at the Sapphire Point trail head before hiking into the woods in search of a man that would give them a handgun for a planned robbery.
As they were walking Jellis said he heard Vanmatre say – “This seems like the perfect spot” – just before Vanmatre’s 16-year-old accomplice tried to taze him with a stun gun.
Jellis testified that Vanmatre struck him across the face and hand with an 18-inch serrated sword, leaving scars above his left eye, his nose and nearly severing his left thumb. He said he fought back using a knife he had taken from the Blazer when he suspected that the situation was unusual. He said he used the knife to fend off his attackers.
“I lost 25 percent of my blood, or more,” Jellis said.
After deliberating for hours, Vanmatre, an aspiring model, was found guilty on 7 of 9 counts against him. He’ll be sentenced on Oct. 29 and faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
“This crime is unthinkable — to lure a friend to an isolated area in the mountains where you immobilize them with a stun gun and then attack them with a sword is something out of a horror movie,” said District Attorney Bruce Brown. “The victim, by sheer tenacity and will to live, was able to get his wounded body off the mountain to find help. But for his quick thinking he would have been murdered.”
When asked about what kind of sentence he hopes Vanamtre will receive, Jellis said he wasn’t sure, “I hope justice is served. Whatever the courts decide I will be on board with.”