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Plower’s Rampage Leaves Town’s Ex-Mayor Dead, Services Cut

<i> Associated Press</i>

A part-time snowplow driver on Friday admitted killing the former mayor and using a huge construction vehicle in a demolition run around town, punching holes in four public buildings and knocking out water and phone service.

“I plead guilty to all of it,” Thomas Leask, 50, said in court. Despite his plea, the public defender’s office was ordered to appoint an attorney.

Leask was arrested about 4 1/2 hours after the rampage in a grove behind his burning house, which sheriff’s authorities said he set on fire. He was armed with a .45-caliber pistol and a rifle.

Residents said Leask had been battling with town officials, objecting to being forced to use the town’s water system.

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Leask rammed a stolen military surplus front-end loader into the water treatment plant Thursday night, knocking out service and sending thousands of gallons of water into the streets, where it formed sheets of ice.

He also attacked Town Hall, a fire station and the post office in the same way, knocking 10-by-15-foot holes into the buildings.

The body of former mayor Willie Morrison was found inside Town Hall, where he had been attending a meeting, said Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Mark Wilson. He had been shot and six Molotov cocktails were found nearby, police said.

Leask was ordered held without bail for investigation of first-degree murder, first-degree arson and criminal mischief.

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