By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4) – Had the death of Shane Richardson been an accident, the sentence for his killer may have been different. That’s what a judge told Brian Pattison Friday in court as he sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
Pattison, 31, was also sentenced to 24 years for first degree arson.
Richardson, 29, lived above Roesenberg’s Bagels in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. He was connected to Pattison by a mutual love of tattoos.
According to prosecutors, Pattison came to Richardson’s apartment to finish a tattoo he had been working on for him. Surveillance shows the two entering and exiting the building on April 30, but then on April 31 it was just Pattison entering and exiting the building. He was loading Richardson’s belongings into Richardon’s car, which he stole. He came back once more, on the night of May 2, put Richardson’s body in a closet and set fire to his apartment.
Richardson’s mother was emotional in court. This is the second time she has had to bury a child. Her eldest son was also murdered at the age of 15.
Through a letter, she told the court that the death of her second son has killed her. She said she is trying to “join the land of the living” for her daughter, her grandchildren and her friends.
A representative from the Denver District Attorney’s office spoke on the family’s behalf.
“This is not over for them (the family),” said Ken Lane, the DA’s director of communications. “Emotionally, this will never end but to the extent of the state of Colorado can provide justice, justice was provided today and to this family.”
Despite his actions, Pattison had friends in court Friday supporting him for the sentencing. They called the decision to give him life without parole a travesty.
“He has done nothing but be a good person the entire time I have known him,” said friend Aaron Baldwin. “I think there’s a lot more to it than just what was presented in court.”
Pattison’s attorneys plan to appeal the sentence.
The bagel shop ended up badly damaged and was shut down for months.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.