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Colorado Springs man sentenced to 74 years for Army Captain's murder

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Posted at 10:41 AM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 13:56:22-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado Springs man will spend 74 years in prison for the murder of an Army intelligence officer who was leaving a downtown bar in September 2018.

Captain Daniel Lehman, a graduate of West Point, was found dead early in the morning on Costilla Street near South Nevada. He was shot and left for dead sometime before 2 a.m.

Prosecutors say Gilberto Chavez Jr., a man with a lengthy criminal record, was high on methamphetamine when he pulled out a .22 caliber pistol and shot Lehman soon after he left a local bar.

Chavez claimed he thought someone was following him when he fired his pistol. Chavez was arrested about one month after the killing when police received an anonymous tip.

Capt. Lehman, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, served as a military intelligence officer with the 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Armored Brigade at Fort Carson.

The District Attorney's Office said Lehman's parents were in court Friday to talk about their son's murder. His mother said she wanted Chavez to know her son's life was irreplaceable.

The judge told Chavez "killed for fun" and "celebrated by putting a tattoo on your back," according to the DA's Office.

Family and friends of Lehman told the Santa Fe New Mexican he was always a competitive child who enjoyed strategy games and was in tune with what was going on around him. Lehman was fluent in Mandarin after spending one year in China as an exchange student and fluent in Spanish based on his mother's urging.

He graduated from West Point in 2012, served in Afghanistan in 2013 and spent several years posted in Europe before being assigned to Fort Carson.