Armed fugitive caught at Glenwood motel
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – It ended with tiny bean bags, not bullets. For that a lot of people – including Mary Lincoln – slept better last night.”Everybody’s prayers are answered and we’re just saying prayers of thanksgiving,” a tearful Lincoln said Sunday night after her son, 24-year-old Samuel Kingman Lincoln, was arrested in Glenwood Springs.Lincoln, the Grand Junction-area’s most wanted fugitive, was arrested after an 18-day local manhunt when he walked outside a room he was staying in Glenwood Springs’ Budget Host on Highways 6 & 24 around 6:15 p.m. Sunday. Lincoln was one of two alleged gunmen who, along with 39-year-old Charles Pruitt, shot James Finnegan six times in the desert north of Grand Junction on Nov. 23. Finnegan survived and identified the pair as his attackers.On Sunday night, Lincoln reportedly had two handguns strapped to his body and ignored commands to surrender. Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said Lincoln had two high-powered hand guns, – a 9 mm handgun in a shoulder harness and small semi-automatic assault pistol in a sling. Both weapons were fully loaded.”This is a bad character – a very bad dude,” Wilson said.
Officers fired several “less than lethal” bean-bag-like projectiles at Lincoln and were able to get him on the ground, said Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey.”We’re just happy he’s safely in a Colorado jail,” Hilkey said.Investigators have confirmed that Finnegan, Pruitt and Lincoln, were all associates in the Grand Valley’s meth subculture, and the trio ran with a group close to 20-year-old Christopher Wieberg, the man accused of shooting 28-year-old Thomas Martinez in the head, killing him, on Oct. 25, over an alleged unpaid drug debt.Finnegan was arrested Oct. 31 during the Martinez murder investigation, according to court records. Pruitt surrendered to authorities Dec. 5.Lincoln is also wanted on a $250,000 arrest warrant out of Garfield County on charges of attempted murder and aggravated robbery related to an incident earlier this year.”He’ll face charges in both places,” Hilkey said. “I’m sure he’ll be held accountable one way or another … that’s a great question for the DAs.”
The lady in red?Law enforcement had been on Lincoln’s trail throughout the weekend. Hilkey said they’d received tips Lincoln had been traveling through Delta and Montrose counties over recent days. Glenwood police received a call from Mesa County around 1:30 p.m. that Lincoln was at the motel with a woman. No information was released about the woman and Wilson said that no charges were filed against her.Once the motel was secured and surrounded, Wilson said that they called the room and asked that the woman go to the front desk.”Then both of them came out. She walked toward the office and he went to the back of the property,” Wilson said.
Wilson said it was the best possible scenario.”Our No. 1 concern was that he would use the woman as a hostage or a shield,” he said. “This really could have been a full-blown shoot-out.”SWAT officers with the Grand Junction Police Department joined counterparts with Glenwood Springs Police and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office for Sunday night’s operation. The hotel had already been evacuated by the time Lincoln ventured outside his room, Hilkey said.”We’ve been told (Lincoln) hasn’t been cooperative and (Garfield County jail) has not been able to get a mug shot,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan McBurney said at 8 p.m. Sunday.Glenwood Correspondent Dale Shrull contributed to this story.Vail, Colorado