Man sentenced to life for killing Colorado Springs auto shop owner

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Eric Grant, the man found guilty of murdering a Colorado Springs auto shop owner in July 2017, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday.

Grant was also sentenced to 25 years and eight years for assault and conspiracy, respectively. He was found guilty earlier this week for the brutal killing of George Maldonado, Sr.

During the sentencing proceedings, the judge said “It’s clear this death has had an unequivocal effect on [Maldonado’s] family and friends. It’s also clear he was a kind and generous man. It’s not lost on the court that this was a horrific crime, the court recognizes the pain of the family.”

Maldonado was found beaten to death in his auto shop, and a notable part of the trial was a graphic surveillance video showing two suspects surprising Maldonado and his friend.

Derek Davis is still set to go to trial for his alleged role in the killing.

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An El Paso County jury has found Eric Grant guilty in the brutal killing of Colorado Springs auto store owner George Maldonado, Sr. 

(Photo: George Maldonado, Sr.)

After just two and a half hours of deliberation, jurors came to their decision Tuesday morning.

The five women and seven men who sat on the jury found Grant guilty of murder, first-degree assault, and aggravated robbery. They found Grant not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. 

Grant’s sentencing is set for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. 

Grant is one of two men accused in the July 2017 murder of Maldonado. Investigators say he and Derek Davis dressed as utility workers and cased the shop. Maldonado was pistol-whipped and his head was stomped during the break-in.

Davis’ trial is pending.

(Photo: Dereck Davis)

During the nine-day trial, several people testified for the prosecution, including another man who was attacked alongside Maldonado at his shop. He identified Grant as the man who robbed him. 

Three witnesses took the stand Friday. The first two were detectives George Piornne and Timothy Bass, from Philadelphia. Both helped find and arrest Grant in Pennsylvania. 

During their testimony, they explained that while asking Grant for general information such as personal identification, he made a comment that sparked their attention, saying, “I’m on the run from Colorado, do you think I have identification?”

Grant was also heard saying, “I want as little contact with you guys as possible and I definitely don’t want you to know who I am.”

(Photo: Eric Grant and surveillance video) 

A notable part of the trial was a graphic surveillance video showing two suspects surprising Maldonado and his friend. In the video, you can see the two men dressed in utility vests, kicking something on the ground. 

Grant’s defense also centered on the video, his attorney’s pointing out that Grant is covered in tattoos while the man in the video is not. During rebuttal, the state’s explained the video simply wasn’t clear.  




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