AURORA | A man who shot and maimed a “gender-fluid individual” outside of an Aurora townhouse last summer will spend more than a decade in state prison for the crime, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Ben Leutwyler sentenced Jonathan Hultquist, 41, to 16 years in prison on Nov. 4 after a jury found him guilty of attempted-second degree murder and other charges in September.
“I am convinced there is bias involved in this,” Leutwyler told Hultquist from the bench. “You went in and retrieved a gun, then you came back out. You could have just stayed inside. But you escalated things.”
Hultquist was also convicted of a bias-motivated crime charge.
Responding Aurora police officers watched Hultquist shoot his 54-year-old neighbor once in the stomach following an argument at a block party near East Ford Circle at East Tennessee Avenue on July 7, 2018.
Investigators later determined Hultquist had been berating his neighbor prior to the shooting, “baiting, antagonizing and taunting” the unidentified person, according to a statement released by the local DA’s Office.
The person was using a male name and wearing a long-haired wig, a dress and high heels.
The person eventually attempted to walk home, but was again confronted by Hultquist on the street. Hultquist then ran into his house, retrieved a handgun and ran back to the street where he shot the neighbor from about 20 feet away.
The person sustained harm to several organs and permanent nerve damage, prosecutors said.
“This was an unreasonable shooting that could have easily resulted in the death of this victim,” Deputy District Attorney Dan Martin said in a statement.
District Attorney George Brauchler condemned the hate crime.
“Hatred of a person based on their identity will never provide a justification for such outrageous, violent and potentially lethal behavior,” Brauchler said in a statement. “This bigoted conduct is criminal, beneath the standards of our community, and it will not be tolerated by my office … This is why we build prisons.”
Hultquist has yet to be transferred to a state prison, according to Arapahoe County and Colorado Department of Corrections records.