By: Lance Benzel January 22, 2016 Updated: January 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm
A shackled Bruce Nozolino walked into a Colorado Springs courtroom with a smile plastered on his face, and he left laughing.
But as in the past, he lost his day in court.
Nozolino, 54, is among the most notorious criminals in recent El Paso County history, convicted in April 2014 in a decade-long series of sniper attacks targeting players in his acrimonious divorce.
A jury found that the former Lockheed Martin software engineer shot into the home of El Paso County's chief judge Gilbert Martinez in 2001, narrowly missing his head; wounded a prominent divorce lawyer in the eye in 2002 with a shot delivered into his second-floor legal office; and lay in wait on a winter day in 2008 before killing a man who had an affair with Nozolino's then-wife in the late 1990s.
His court appearance on Friday revolved around a related 2012 witness intimidation conviction in which Nozolino was found guilty of telling witnesses not to participate a 2010 grand jury investigation focusing on the crimes.
His attorney, Joshua Tolini, argued that Nozolino's 10-year sentence should be reduced in light of a finding by the Colorado Court of Appeals that threw out two of the four counts.
After brief arguments, Senior Judge Jon Kolomitz denied the motion, siding with prosecutor Jeffrey Lindsey, who said Nozolino's effort to disrupt the grand jury proceedings "struck at the heart" of the criminal justice system and deserved a stiff penalty.
The judge also said the defense failed to make a case that a sentencing judge overlooked mitigating evidence, finding that none was offered.
Nozolino is being held at the Limon Correctional Facility on a sentence of life without parole, plus 288 years.
His witness intimidation sentence may appear insignificant by comparison, but prosecutors say they want to keep him behind bars should his murder case come back on appeal.
That effort suffered a setback in March 2014, after the state appeals court struck down separate perjury convictions against him, shaving 10 years from his sentence.
The Appeals Court has yet to rule on the murder convictions, which a jury handed up after a two-month trial featuring more than 100 witnesses.
Nozolino's name has twice come up during proceedings for El Paso County's latest high-profile defendant, Planned Parenthood shooting suspect Robert Lewis Dear Jr.
Each time, prosecutors told Judge Martinez, who is presiding over the Dear case, that his involvement as a victim in the Nozolino case could be construed as a conflict of interest. Dear is represented in part by public defender Rose Roy, who represented Nozolino for a time.
Martinez remains assigned to the Dear prosecution.