A Colorado Springs home invader who threatened to execute an 8-year-old boy with a gun to his head is bound for prison.

Jerenzo Clarence Kyles, 24, was ordered to serve 58 years in what a judge called a “disturbing” string of crimes culminating in the attack on the child, who wet his pants, and ending with Kyles firing gunshots at a neighbor who intervened as he and two accomplices drove away.

Kyles and his crew thought they were robbing a drug house, but for all their brutality, they left empty-handed.

“You didn’t even know if they had drugs and money,” 4th Judicial District Judge Gregory Werner said while imposing the penalty Tuesday.

One of Kyles’ accomplices, Elliot Salther, smashed an 11-year-old girl’s face with a miniature sledgehammer, breaking her orbital socket and leaving her and her brother with nightmares. The trio struck about 5 p.m. April 4 on Wyatt Street, just east of Hancock Expressway and South Academy.

Man convicted of attempted murder in Colorado Springs home invasion

In driving away from the home, Kyles opened fire on a man who tried to intervene, hitting his car while a child was inside but leaving the child uninjured. An El Paso County jury convicted him of attempted murder, aggravated robbery and other charges carrying a potential prison term of more than 150 years behind bars, the judge said.

Kyles served in the Army for three years and has no criminal history.

While awaiting trial, however, he attracted new scrutiny on suspicions he conspired with a fellow inmate to target witnesses in the cases against them.

No charges were filed against him or the other man accused.

Salther, 23, has been assaulted repeatedly in jail since agreeing to cooperate in the case, Salther’s attorney has said in court. His sentencing this month was postponed after his attorney reported he has begun “hearing voices” amid the stress of living under constant threat at jail. A competency review is underway.

A third man charged in the robbery, Keotis Reed, 26, has pleaded guilty to felony theft. He is set to be sentenced Aug. 7.


I cover legal affairs for The Gazette, with an emphasis on the criminal courts. Tips to lance.benzel@gazette.com

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