BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A judge on Thursday told a 21-year-old Denver man he will spend the rest of his life in prison for a machete attack on his friend in the mountains.

Tyrus Vanmatre was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole in Summit County Court. A jury found him guilty in September of attempted murder, kidnapping and assault.

Tyrus Vanmatre (credit: Summit County Sheriff)

Tyrus Vanmatre (credit: Summit County Sheriff)

Vanmatre received a life sentence on the kidnapping charge and an additional 112 years in prison on the other charges he faced.

The night of June 17, 2014, Vanmatre was traveling with Jadon Jellis and another person from Denver to a party in the mountains. Jellis said Vanmatre parked their car at the Sapphire Point trailhead near Breckenridge before hiking into the woods in search of a man who 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 Jellis with a stun gun.

(credit: 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office)

(credit: 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office)

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 car when he suspected that the situation was unusual. He said he used the knife to fight off his attackers.

Jellis ran off and a passing sheriff’s deputy found him bleeding on Swan Mountain Road.

District Attorney Bruce Brown said Vanmatre, who had been an aspiring model, is “a dangerous criminal who planned to kill a man he called a friend in the mountains of Colorado.”


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