Jeremy Lee Nichols

Jeremy Lee Nichols (Westminster Police Department / Courtesy Photo)

A man who strangled another man to death in 2017 at a Westminster motel to keep him from identifying him as a burglary and arson suspect was sentenced to 56 years in prison, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Jeremy Lee Nichols, 35, pleaded guilty in the killing of 57-year-old Jerome Lee Coleman at the Super 8 Motel, 12055 Melody Drive. Coleman was found dead in his room on July 19, 2017, according to the release. Nichols tried to make it look like Coleman had overdosed, a senior deputy district attorney Yvette Guthrie said in the release.

Nichols didn’t want Coleman to identify him as the suspect who burglarized his home and then set it on fire in Broomfield two weeks prior to the killing, the DA’s office said.

“I can’t count the number of times in 17 years as a prosecutor I have witnesses or victims talk about their fear, the fear that a defendant will come after them and kill them if they testify if they go to the police,” Guthrie said. “In Mr. Nichol’s case, they wouldn’t be wrong. Mr. Coleman knew it too. He just thought the defendant wouldn’t be brazen enough to kill him in front of a witness. He was wrong.”

Nichols was sentenced to 48 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge and another eight years in prison for the burglary charge.

His co-defendant Joshua Isaac Hime also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced earlier this month to 27 years in prison.

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