A Montrose man who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in the 2017 shooting death of a 27-year-old Olathe woman will spend 48 years in prison.
Joseph Anthony Saur, 20, was sentenced Monday by Montrose County District Judge Keri Yoder on a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Patience Rian Stewart.
Under the influence of methamphetamine, Saur, then 19, initially told police he believed Stewart was his own father trying to break the law after obtaining a sex change when he shot Stewart in a Nov. 5, 2017, incident at her trailer.
Seventh Judicial District Attorney Dan Hotsenpiller said family statements during Monday’s sentencing indicated the defendant had a “difficult and troubled” childhood.
Saur called the victim his “good friend” and had been in an intimate relationship the woman who lived in a camper trailer in the backyard of Saur’s home, Hotsenpiller said.
His office considered Saur’s youth, the defendant’s dysfunctional upbringing and evidence he was using meth at the time of the murder in extending a plea agreement on a reduced charge of second-degree murder, Hotsenpiller said.
Saur initially was charged with first-degree murder in the case. Hotsenpiller said he was pleased with the judge’s ruling, but noted the case was marred with “tragedy all around.”
“I will certainly confess to you, I don’t really feel good about these,” he said. “Meth ruins lives, if there’s a one- liner here. This is just the carnage done by meth in our communities.”