An Aurora man who shot and seriously injured his gender-fluid neighbor last year was sentenced Monday to 16 years in prison, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
An Arapahoe County jury convicted Jonathan William Hultquist, 41, on Sept. 5 of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and a bias-motivated crime for shooting his 54-year-old neighbor.
The incident occurred on July 7, 2018, at a block party in the town home complex at East Ford Circle and East Tennessee Avenue. Prosecutors said neighbors were angered and concerned about the safety of nearby children when Hultquist sped his car up to his parking spot, squealing his tires as he stopped.
After neighbors confronted him, Hultquist began hurling insults at the gender-fluid neighbor, who was using a male name and wearing a long wig, dress and high heels, the DA’s office said.
When Hultquist saw the neighbor with a box cutter, he ran into his house and grabbed his shotgun, shooting the neighbor in the midsection, prosecutors said. Police were already on scene when Hultquist fired the shot.
The neighbor, who was not identified, lost a kidney, part of the colon and intestines, and suffered permanent nerve damage, the news release said.
“I am convinced there is bias involved in this,” Arapahoe County District Court Judge Ben Leutwyler told Hultquist as he imposed his sentence, according to the DA’s office.
District Attorney George Brauchler said in a statement that “Hatred of a person based on their identity will never provide a justification for such outrageous, violent and potentially lethal behavior.”