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Former Colorado DOC Official Pleads Guilty to Felony Menacing Charges

Former Colorado DOC Official Pleads Guilty to Felony Menacing Charges


Ex-Colorado prison official Mark Edward McKinna, 63, pleaded guilty in May 2013 to six counts of felony menacing with a deadly weapon.

McKinna, once a regional director for the Colorado Department of Corrections who served as warden at the Fremont, Limon and Territorial correctional facilities, admitted discharging a firearm at six people – five of them children – near a neighbor’s home in Cañon City.

The incident occurred when Charlene Cornwell’s then-14-year-old daughter and another girl were outside riding the family’s go-kart. According to a probable cause affidavit, McKinna exited his house and began cursing at them due to the noise.

He reportedly continued using profanity at Cornwell, the two girls and three other children even after they turned off the go-kart. McKinna then pulled a gun from his pocket and fired a shot in their direction.

Cañon City police responded to the August 2012 incident and one officer testified that he smelled alcohol on McKinna, who had slurred speech, watery eyes and was off-balance.

McKinna accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years’ probation on July 17, 2013. While on probation he will not be allowed to possess firearms, other deadly weapons, alcohol or non-prescription drugs. Further, he must write an apology to each of the victims, obtain a mental health evaluation and stay away from the Cornwell family.

The state court rejected the prosecution’s request for an 18-month sentence, citing McKinna’s “exemplary” character and career as a prison official. McKinna’s defense attorney said the sentence was a reasonable outcome.




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