AURORA | A judge Thursday handed down a 37-year prison sentence for a killer who stabbed a man at an Aurora motel in 2009 before fleeing and taking a Kansas couple hostage.

Jesse Dimmick
Jesse Dimmick

Jesse Dimmick, 39, faced as many as 48 years in prison after pleading guilty in March to second-degree murder for stabbing Michael Curtis in the neck in September 2009 at the Carriage Motor Inn on East Colfax Avenue.

Prosecutors said Dimmick, who was initially charged with first-degree murder, lured Curtis to the motel that day for a drug deal before stabbing and robbing him.

“He took Michael Levar Curtis’ life in a savage way,” Adams County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ed Bull said in a statement announcing the sentence.

Dimmick’s lawyers had said he wasn’t competent to stand trial, but state doctors said Dimmick was faking his symptoms.

Another defendant in Curtis’ killing, Shayne Miller, was sentenced in May 2010 to four years in prison and has since been paroled.

After the killing, police say Dimmick fled in a stolen car to Kansas, where he took a couple hostage in their home before being arrested. A Kansas jury convicted Dimmick o kidnapping in 2010 and a judge sentenced him to 11 years in a Kansas prison. Dimmick later made headlines when he tried to sue the couple he kidnapped, arguing they violated an agreement he made with them to hide him after he took them hostage.

The judge Thursday said Dimmick’s murder sentence will run consecutive to his Kansas sentence.

“This is a very dangerous man who needs to be kept from society and this sentence accomplishes that,” District Attorney Dave Young said in a statement. “We are thankful that he will be off the streets for a very long time.”

Reach reporter Brandon Johansson at 303-750-7555 or