A 28-year-old carjacking suspect accused of leading authorities on a rush-hour chase from Longmont to Lone Tree, wrecking several vehicles and injuring a state trooper, will face 26 charges in connection with the incident.
Ryan Cole Stone was charged Wednesday in a Douglas County courtroom with attempted murder and kidnapping, among other charges.
If convicted, Stone could face a minimum of 16 years in prison and a maximum of 96 years or more, based in part on sentence enhancers.
Douglas County deputies arrested Stone last week after an hour-long pursuit through metro Denver that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour.
Stone is accused of stealing a vehicle in Longmont, with a 4-year-old boy in the back seat, and then carjacking two other vehicles while a news helicopter tracked his every move.
The attempted-murder charge stems from hitting and seriously injuring Colorado State Patrol Trooper Bellaman Hee.
Handcuffed and dressed in red Douglas County jail garb, Stone did not address the court. His attorney waived a reading of the multiple charges against him.
Other charges against Stone include assault, leaving the scene of an accident, robbery, vehicular eluding and aggravated motor vehicle theft. He faces multiple counts of several charges, including two counts of child abuse.
After the hearing Wednesday, Stone's family and supporters spoke briefly, expressing sympathy for the victims and love for the defendant.
"Our hearts go out to the victims," said Lori Hernandez, a friend of Stone's who has known him since he was a child.
Stone also faces five "sentence enhancers" in the case: four "habitual criminal" counts and one "crime of violence" count.
Despite seemingly overwhelming evidence — a televised chase that ended with the suspect running from a crash and collapsing in the snow as sheriff's deputies arrested him — prosecutors will take nothing for granted, said Douglas County District Attorney George Brauchler.
"No matter what anyone thinks, no matter what they saw on the video, we have to presume this guy innocent for the system to work," Brauchler said.
Stone is due back in court May 29. He's being held on $3.5 million bail.
Kieran Nicholson: 303-954-1822, email@example.com or twitter.com/kierannicholson