An Aurora man was sentenced to more than a century in jail as a result of the violent actions he took against members of the Greeley Police Department during a high-speed chase last July.

According to an Oct. 13 news release from the Weld District Attorney’s Office, police first responded to a report of a man with a gun trying to get into someone’s apartment on 10th Street in Greeley on July 11, 2020.

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Upon arrival, police took notice of 52-year-old James Nicholson of Aurora, who allegedly matched a suspect description from the reporting party, walking away from the 10th Street apartment complex. Police attempted to make contact with Nicholson, but the suspect took off running instead.

James Nicholson - Weld County District Attorney's Office
James Nicholson - Weld County District Attorney's Office

When police tried to approach Nicholson, he turned around and sprayed two officers with bear mace, a similar substance to pepper spray, according to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.

Additional officers were requested for backup as Nicholson got into a vehicle and fled the scene. As a result, Greeley police pursued the suspect on a high-speed chase.

During the chase, an officer noticed that the rear window of the suspect's vehicle had shattered; the next thing the officer heard was gunshots, as he saw 8 to 10 muzzle flashes from inside Nicholson’s vehicle, according to the news release. 

Outside agencies assisted with the chase as Nicholson made his way through multiple cities and two counties. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office ultimately immobilized the suspect's vehicle just north of Clydesdale and Crossroads Boulevard in Loveland.

52-year-old James Nicholson of Aurora was convicted last July of the following:

  • attempted second-degree murder
  • one count of first-degree assault
  • two counts of second-degree assault
  • two counts of third-degree assault
  • vehicular eluding
  • possession of a controlled substance

On Friday, a judge found prosecutors Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wrenn and Deputy District Attorney Andrew Rogers proved each of the six charged habitual criminal counts, issuing Nicholson a 112-year sentence.

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