Plea deal in murder case results in 50-year sentence |

Plea deal in murder case results in 50-year sentence

Patricia Richmond

— A 22-year-old Routt County man was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years in prison for murdering 2010 Soroco High School graduate Patricia Richmond.

As part of a plea deal, Cole Pollard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and attempted sexual assault.

“I can’t imagine what happened that day in your mind,” Judge Shelley Hill said to Pollard during the sentencing. “It was … a horrible thing that you did, and you’re paying for it.”

Pollard killed Richmond, 22, at a home owned by the West family in North Routt County.

She was engaged to Keith West. Pollard is his cousin.

Richmond’s body was found June 29, and a manhunt ensued.

Pollard was arrested July 1 after Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies found him at a campsite in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

Court records show Pollard told deputies he “snapped,” choked Richmond to death and then raped her.

Pollard was originally charged with first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and theft.

Numerous family members attended the hearing, but none of them spoke. Pollard also chose not to speak.

Pollard’s attorney, Tamara Brady, spoke on his behalf.

“This really is an example of a good person who has done something wrong, and I think Cole knows that at this point,” Brady said.

Brady called it a tragic situation and said Pollard was extremely regretful.

“Our goal was to give Cole a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

For the second-degree murder charge, Pollard was sentenced to an agreed-upon 50 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. In addition, Pollard will serve 10 years to life for the attempted sexual assault. A prison board will determine if and when Pollard is released.

“Mr. Pollard’s guilty pleas today bring a measure of closure to Ms. Richmond’s family and loved ones in this tragic case,” District Attorney Brett Barkey said in a news release. “A sentence of 50 years to life ensures Mr. Pollard will be incarcerated for almost four decades before being first considered for parole, and if granted parole, it would only be under the strictest supervision.”

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Pollard would serve a minimum of 37 to 38 years in prison before being eligible for parole. To be eligible for parole, Pollard would have to complete treatment and demonstrate he is not an undue danger to the community.

This story has been corrected to state the sentences will run consecutively.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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