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Life in Prison for Man in Arvada Murder

Ryan Jonathan Heacock, 34, was in court to be sentenced for the murder of Leslie Blakney in November 2009.

District Judge Chris Phillips sentenced Heacock to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Leslie Blakney met Ryan Heacock just three weeks earlier when he was released from West Pines drug and alcohol treatment facility. They were introduced by a mutual friend. Heacock had nowhere to go and Leslie Blakney offered to let him and let him stay at her apartment for a few days.

On November 17, 2009, Leslie Blakney's 16-year-old son found his mother not breathing and called 911. When the Arvada Police Department arrived they discovered 41-year-old Leslie Blakney was dead, wrapped in a blanket in the living room.

The last time anyone saw or talked to Leslie Heacock was early in the morning November 14, 2009. The friend who spoke with her last said that she heard what sounded like a fight between Leslie Blakney and Heacock.

Police believe Ryan Heacock killed Leslie Blakney sometime in the next few hours. She died from strangulation and asphyxia.

On November 15, Heacock stole Leslie Blakney's Dodge mini-van and drove to the home of two acquaintances in Denver. He talked to the couple for a few minutes and then asked for a map to Glasgow, Kentucky. Heacock was from Glasgow and his mother and other family still lived there.

Heacock then left Denver and began driving to Glasgow, Kentucky.

Arvada Detectives Pursue Suspect

The Arvada Police Department investigation lead them to Kentucky before Heacock arrived there. Heacock used Leslie Blakney's credit cards to purchase gas and other items along the way.

Arvada Police investigators flew to Kentucky and began work with authorities there. On November 18, 2009 Glasgow police arrested Heacock in a motel room.

"The Arvada Police Department did an excellent job in this case. While it doesn't bring Leslie Blakney back, their quick response and dedication to this case helped us bring justice for the family of Leslie Blakney," said DA Scott Storey, "It's very unusual for someone charged with first degree murder to plead guilty. Not having to go through a difficult murder trial is a great relief for family, friends and witnesses."

During the extradition process while Heacock was incarcerated he came across an old school friend who was also in jail. Heacock confessed the killing to the friend, providing details of the murder.

Heacock was returned to Colorado in January 2010.

On July 28, 2010, less than one month before his trial was scheduled to being, Heacock pled guilty to all counts: First Degree Murder after deliberation; Felony Murder; Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft; Aggravated Robbery, False Information to a Pawnbroker and Identity Theft.