Page 18 - AreaNewsletters "Jan 2022" issue
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A conviction of  rst-degree arson carried a possible penalty of  ve to 40 years in prison while a juvenile would only receive a possible penalty of two years in the Department of Institutions (now Youth Corrections), and perhaps an additional two years after that if deemed necessary by the court.
On June 7, 1978, Rose Ann Lucero, 17, Denver, was charged with  rst degree arson, second degree arson and fourth degree arson, all felonies, in connection with the  re that destroyed the Douglas County Courthouse. Judge Marvin Foote earlier ruled that Lucero would stand trial as an adult.
On September 14, 1978 sta  writer Jeanne Adkins wrote in the DC News that Rose Ann Lucero pleaded guilty to fourth-degree arson in connection with the Douglas County Courthouse  re, and after reviewing the pre-sentence evaluation, Judge William Naugle sentenced Lucero to an indeterminate to two year sentence in the Department of Institutions School at Montview, Division of Youth Services. Lucero was escorted out of the courtroom by two deputies who would take her to her school for the next two years.
While this is the end of the information that I was able to obtain from the Historical Archives section at the
Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, I remember the stories that fellow State January 2022 • Castle Rock “AreaNewsletters”
Trooper Garcy Vasquez told me about the
night the courthouse burned. Though all State Troopers receive special training, Garcy had a special knack
for identifying drunk
drivers on the road.
Garcy told me that he had arrested a young man for drunk driving and had taken him to the county jail which was in the basement of the courthouse. The young man had his girlfriend with him when he was arrested, and the girlfriend seemed extremely upset about her boyfriend’s arrest. Garcy told me that the young lady made a Molotov Cocktail (gasoline- lled glass bottle) and hurled it into the courthouse so she could just “get her boyfriend out of jail that night.”
Unfortunately, Trooper Vasquez was stricken with a medical issue after he rode his bicycle in the Elephant Rock Ride, years after he retired from the State Patrol. He was taken to a hospital when he passed away a few days later. I so wish that I was able to interview Garcy one more time about this important piece of Castle Rock history for this column.
While I was researching this story, I
ran across a News-Press article and photograph attributed to Jeanne Adkins, former State Representative from Castle Rock. I texted her, and she said that she was the co-owner of the Douglas-County- Parker News-Press at the time of the
Trooper Garcy Vasquez

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