Lance Benzel

Legal Affairs reporter

Lance Benzel covers legal affairs for The Gazette, with a focus on the criminal courts, and also writes a monthly mountain biking column entitled "Rider in Residence." He joined the newspaper's staff in 2008 after previous stops in Billings, Mont., central North Carolina and Chicago.
  • Retrial for ex-Sheriff Terry Maketa begins this week

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    A retrial begins this week for former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa on corruption allegations that left a previous panel deadlocked. Jury selection is to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with 90 prospective jurors on tap for consideration in a process that could take days. Final...

  • Suspect dodges life sentence, convicted of lesser felony in killing at estranged girlfriend's Colorado Springs home

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    A jury on Monday rejected a first-degree murder charge against a Colorado Springs parolee, instead convicting him of a lesser felony in a fatal stabbing last spring. Jason Kover, whose attorneys argued self-defense in the April 30 slaying of 45-year-old Jeremy Basamania, was found...

  • Colorado Springs pays $2.5M to female officers to settle physical fitness test lawsuit

    Updated: Sat, Jan 20, 2018

    The city of Colorado Springs has approved a $2.5 million settlement for 12 female police officers who say their careers were harmed by a physical aptitude test that discriminated against women. The agreement comes six months after a federal judge ruled in the women's favor, upholding...

  • Colorado Springs man sentenced for running house flipping Ponzi scheme

    Updated: Wed, Jan 17, 2018

    A Springs man who defrauded at least three victims out of nearly half a million dollars on phony investments has been sentenced. Last August, officers announced the arrest of 35-year-old Benjamin Rose. He convinced the victims to purchase properties under the guise that he would...

  • Violent Widefield husband who killed wife gets life in prison - plus 32 years

    Updated: Tue, Jan 16, 2018

    Citing his "path of devastation and destruction," a judge on Tuesday sentenced a Widefield man to life in prison in the November 2016 fatal shooting of his wife. Gregory Lorbiecki was convicted Tuesday, after a weeklong trial in 4th Judicial District Court, of the first-degree murder...

  • Maketa juror: Lone holdout kept ex-El Paso County sheriff from being convicted

    Updated: Tue, Jan 16, 2018

    If not for a lone holdout juror, former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa would be a convicted felon. Mary Mraz, jury forewoman in Maketa's corruption trial that ended in a hung jury last July, said the vote to convict on at least two felonies was 11-1. Maketa is scheduled to be...

  • Drifter Daniel Nations held in Clear Creek County after sentencing for Mount Herman threat

    Updated: Mon, Jan 15, 2018

    A drifter sentenced to probation for threatening a visitor to Mount Herman near Monument has been jailed in Clear Creek County in Georgetown. Daniel James Nations, 32, is being held on a $500 bond awaiting a Jan. 24 court appearance in Clear Creek County Court for missing a court...

  • Ex-Air Force policeman who recorded rapes sentenced to prison

    Updated: Fri, Jan 12, 2018

    A former Peterson Air Force Base security policeman who led a double life while raping sex workers at gunpoint is headed for decades behind bars. Ex-Air Force Staff Sgt. Desmond Alvis Martin was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for raping four women in Colorado...

  • Former Fort Carson soldier's murder trial begins: 'When he was ready, he killed her'

    Updated: Thu, Jan 11, 2018

    A hostage negotiator spent hours addressing Gregory Lorbiecki through a window at his Widefield home, trying to find a topic that would calm him enough to put down his gun and let his wife go. They compared notes about their favorite football teams. They debated which fast food...

  • Monument man pleads guilty to manslaughter in brother's death

    Updated: Tue, Jan 9, 2018

    A Monument man pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday in acknowledging that he accidentally shot his brother to death. Erik Mattyasovsky faces up to two to six years in prison in the April death of Brian Mattyasovsky, prosecutors say. The defendant told authorities the two were...

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