Click here for more articles
Local man pleads guilty to firearm, assault charges
10/9/2009 By: Melanie Brubaker Mazur, Times editor
Rayburn Gosney of Ignacio has been sentenced to three years in the Colorado Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to firing a gun at his ex-wife’s boyfriend on Christmas Day of 2008.
Gosney, 34, was sentenced on Sept. 10 to the illegal discharge of a firearm and third degree assault. In addition to the three-year sentence, he will have a mandatory parole of two years and had to pay $7,762.15 in fines and court costs.
Gosney pleaded not guilty to nine other counts, which were dismissed by district attorney Christian Champagne, according to court records.
The dismissed charges included a count of attempted murder, violent crime, assault with a deadly weapon, felony menacing, criminal mischief, harassment, and two counts of child abuse.
Gosney pleaded guilty on July 23 to District Court Judge Jeffrey Wilson.
Gosney was arrested on Christmas Day of 2008, according to a statement signed by Megan McCulloch, a La Plata County deputy sheriff.
McCulloch’s account was four pages long and included the following:
She responded that morning to a report of a man who had fired a shotgun at another man at an address on Highway 151 in Ignacio.
On her way to the scene, she was told by police dispatch that the victim, Curtis Valencia, had left the scene, and Gosney’s ex-wife, Michal McNew, and their two children were on foot and walking toward the highway.
She and Sgt. Dan Abdella with the Southern Ute Police Department met Gosney on the porch of his residence and put him in hand cuffs. After looking through the house to make sure no one else was there, Abdella told McColloch that he saw an over-under shotgun on the couch inside the residence and two spent shotgun shells on the ground outside the house near the driveway.
Deputy Kevin Brown arrived on the scene, and said Gosney told him the following:
His ex-wife, Michal, had showed up at the house that morning to pick up their two children because it was her time to have them. Their divorce had been finalized that Friday. Her boyfriend, Valencia, waited in the truck in the driveway while she got the children.
Gosney went out to tell Valencia he was not happy about Valencia giving his kid a "swirley." (A swirley involves sticking someone’s head in a toilet and flushing it until his hair swirls.)
Gosney said when he approached the driver’s door, Valencia opened the door and shoved him over a small snowbank, then got on top of him and starting beating Gosney up and held him down. Gosney said that when he got up, he went inside and got his shotgun, came out, saw Valencia sitting in the truck, and fired two rounds at the truck to try to scare him. Gosney said he went back in to get two more shotgun rounds but decided against it.
Gosney said his ex-wife and children left shortly afterwards.
In her interview with McNew, McCulloch wrote that Gosney had called McNew that morning and was upset and said he was going to "break Curtis in half." She went to pick up her sons, 3, and 7, and Valencia stayed outside in the truck.
McNew went inside the house and said Gosney was upset about Valencia giving one of her sons a "swirley."
She said that never happened, and she asked one of her sons in front of Gosney if Valencia had ever given him a swirley, and he said no.
McNew said Gosney pushed past her to go outside, and she thought they were going to talk. She said it sounded like they were wrestling, and Valencia said, "I would never hurt your kids."
A couple of minutes later, Gosney came up to the door and had a bloody nose, blood smeared on his face, and he was covered with snow. She saw Gosney pick up his shotgun and shells. She said she could tell Gosney was enraged and yelled out the door for Valencia to leave.
She said she watched as Gosney walked within 20 feet of the front of Valencia’s truck and fired two rounds. She couldn’t tell if he was hit. She put the children in their room and called 911.
When she came back out, she saw Gosney looking for more shells. She said her ex-husband told her to leave, so she got the children out of their room and left on foot, walking down the driveway.
McCulloch said she then interviewed Valencia. He gave a similar account of events as Gosney and McNew, adding that after they fought, he though the incident was over with until Gosney came out of the house with a shotgun. Valencia said he didn’t hear the first shot hit anything, but he ducked down and the second shot hit the windshield. Gosney was no more than 30 feet away when he fired, Valencia said.
Valencia didn’t leave immediately because he thought McNew and the boys would be coming out, and he thought Gosney had "gotten it out of his system." When Valencia saw Gosney come back out with the shotgun and more shells, he put the truck in reverse and went to a friend’s house to wait for the police.
McCulloch wrote that she didn’t see any marks or bruising on Valencia and saw blood on is pants. Valencia said it was Gosney’s blood.
Gosney was charged with attempted first degree assualt and booked into the county jail.