A man who was previously convicted in Colorado of manslaughter and assault pleaded guilty last month to charges stemming from an April assault along the Mill Creek pathway, but his legal troubles didn’t end there.
Samson Lameman may have thought he’d straightened everything out when he agreed to plead guilty to third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault and restricted person in possession of a dangerous weapon, among other charges. But when the woman who posted his $25,000 bail in early June had a change of heart, Lameman found himself back in jail, and unless someone else bails him out, he’ll remain there until he’s sentenced on Oct. 10.
Lameman, who has been living in the town of Green River, formally entered the pleas on Tuesday, Aug. 29, just days after his jury trial was scheduled to begin in 7th District Court. In addition to the main charges against him, he also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of intoxication and providing false information to a police officer.
In exchange for his pleas, the Grand County Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the remaining charges – including a second third-degree felony count of aggravated assault – with prejudice.
Lameman, whose aliases include Samuel Leroy Layman, was arrested after he threatened two men with knives during a drunken April 15 confrontation along the pathway. Dispatchers who conducted a subsequent criminal history background search on him learned that he had been convicted in Colorado of manslaughter.
Under the law, 7th District Judge Lyle R. Anderson could now order Lameman to serve a potential maximum penalty of two consecutive 10-year sentences in state prison, as well as 180 days in jail – although the court seldom diverges from plea deals.
Faced with that possibility, Lameman denied that he posed a flight risk while he was still free on bail, telling the judge that there “ain’t nothing to run from.” But the woman who posted his $25,000 bail on June 9 alleged otherwise, and on the day of his change-of-plea hearing, she filed a motion that asked the court to revoke his bail.
“He has been threating (sic) to run on the bail,” the woman wrote. “I am afraid. I am afraid he will run and I lose my money. He (has) been drinking.”
Judge Anderson ultimately approved the woman’s motion to revoke Lameman’s bail, but not before the defendant questioned her motives in filing the motion.
“To me, it seems like they used me as an insurance policy,” he said. “Then, when they think that this policy wasn’t around, they just wanted to revoke it. I don’t know what the deal is that’s going on, because I’ve already got this plea deal signed, and I’m just ready to get the (pre-sentence investigation) or whatever going, and it’s like, ‘Who wants to run from that?’”
Lameman told the court that he hasn’t been drinking alcohol or using drugs since he was released on bail, and he said he has no reason to skip out on his bail.
“It’s only a few weeks to the sentencing, and this ain’t making no sense to me,” he said. “But if that’s what the individual wants to do, it’s their constitutional right to do it.”
Fighting with strangers
The case against Lameman goes back to April 15, when officers responded to a report that three or four men were “cussing and being loud” along the Mill Creek pathway.
The reporting party said that Lameman was carrying an ax. As an officer was searching the area, another person reported that five men were fighting over the colors they were wearing, and that one of the men – later identified as Lameman – was brandishing a machete.
By the time that the first officer arrived at the scene, other men had circled around Lameman, and he appeared to be acting aggressively. The officer noticed another man walk over to a tree and break off a branch to use as a weapon.
As the officer approached the men, the man dropped the branch, and Lameman began to walk away. Another officer approached from the north and told Lameman to stop, but he continued onward. Lameman resisted, and the first officer helped the second officer place him in handcuffs, at which time, they noticed that he smelled of alcohol.
The man who picked up the branch said that he had never met Lameman before that day. He said that he and another man had been walking home along the footpath when Lameman approached them, and then fell down.
When Lameman got back up, he pulled two large knives from his backpack and began to swing the weapons at the two men. The man with the branch said he thought that Lameman was trying to stab him, so he picked up the branch for protection.
During an inventory of Lameman’s backpack, officers found an approximately 16-inch blade and an approximately 6-inch blade that had blood on the handle, as well as drug paraphernalia.
Lameman later admitted that he gave police false information about his identity, and court documents and past media reports also provide conflicting information about his correct date of birth: It’s listed alternately as Nov. 14, 1975, and Nov. 14, 1978.
Defendant has history of violent altercations
The April 15 incident was just Lameman’s most recent run-in with the law.
A Feb. 12, 2007, article in the Denver Post details a May 2006 incident involving alcohol, an argument, a revolver and a game of Russian roulette that resulted in the death of 26-year-old Tasha Posey at the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation near Cortez, Colorado. Posey died after she was shot during a struggle for the gun that she and Lameman were using to play Russian roulette.
The Durango Herald reported in January 2011 that prosecutors charged Lameman with second-degree murder. But a federal jury in Durango ultimately found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the Herald reported.
While he was on probation in that case, the Durango Herald reported that Lameman pleaded guilty in federal court to misdemeanor assault involving domestic violence.
In that incident, the Herald reported, Lameman grabbed a woman by the left arm, bent it behind her and shoved her onto a bed, holding her face down in a pillow so she couldn’t breathe.
“He then put his fingers in her mouth and hooked the right side of her mouth and tried to rip it off. The woman then bit his fingers so he would let go, at which time Layman punched her on the left side of her face with a closed fist,” the Herald reported.
In 2015 and 2016, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado arrested Lameman on warrants for felony menacing and failure to appear in court.
“Are you saying that no one ever commits a crime in Green River?”
After he voluntarily gave up his right to a jury trial in the latest case, Lameman told Judge Anderson that he’s ready to be sentenced and “just get this over with.”
“It’s like, I ain’t trying to run from all that – I’m trying to get my life together here, and I just don’t know what’s going on,” he said.
Lameman said that he has been staying out of trouble during his time in Green River.
“There ain’t nothing to do in Green River, and it’s like…,” he began, when Judge Anderson interjected.
“Are you saying that no one ever commits a crime in Green River?” the judge asked.
“I’m just saying, it’s just so slow, there ain’t nothing to do,” Lameman said. “And so I just stay home and do nothing all day. There ain’t nothing to run from (there). It makes no sense to me.”
Judge Anderson, in response, posed an ironic question to Lameman.
“So I could solve all the crime problems in Grand County by sentencing people to live in Green River?” he asked.
The question triggered laughter from Lameman, who was otherwise focused on ensuring that his plea deal would be approved.
“That’s the only thing on my mind right now,” he said.
Judge revokes bail after woman seeks return of $25K deposit