2019 Leg Session, Crime, Featured, Gold Dome, Governor Polis, Larimer County, Loveland, Original Report, Sherrie Peif

Colorado’s ‘ban the box’ law allowed man convicted of double-murder to land nursing home job

LOVELAND — A man convicted of the double-murder of his parents in 2011 was working in a nursing home in Loveland because laws in place in Colorado hid his conviction from employers.

Complete Colorado has learned Gideon Long, 22, was working at Good Samaritan Society’s Loveland Village, until this week — despite being arrested again in September 2020 for attempting to buy a gun as a convicted felon.

Long was convicted of killing his parents, shooting his younger brother and slitting the throat of his younger sister in Burlington, CO in 2011. Investigators never found a motive for the then 12-year-old’s actions, but he eventually pled guilty in juvenile court and was sentenced to seven years in a juvenile detention facility.

Gideon Long

Long was released in 2018 and has been lying on various applications since, including enlistment into the Army and to obtain an emergency medical technician license, a 9 News report revealed. He was dishonorably discharged upon the Army learning of the conviction and his EMT license was revoked as well.

However, Long didn’t have to lie on his application to Loveland Village because of a bill passed by the Colorado legislature in 2019 and signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis.

House Bill 19-1025 — termed “ban the box” — banned the use of a felony conviction question on employment applications. And because Long’s conviction was as a juvenile, his criminal records were sealed.

The senior director of long-term care for Loveland Village told Complete Colorado that the health, safety and well-being of their residents and employees is the center’s top priority.

“We were recently made aware of a previous felony conviction for a newly hired staff member who does not provide direct care to our residents,” Lisa Melby said in a statement to Complete Colorado. “We immediately terminated the employee.”

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said the only tool employers have now because of the ban the box legislation are background checks, but in cases like this where the records are sealed, even a background check does not help.

The center learned of Long’s conviction after the 9 News report earlier this week revealed Long was arrested in September when he lied to about his conviction to attempt purchasing a firearm at the Scheel’s sporting goods store in Johnstown.

“A thorough background check was conducted prior to this individual’s hire,” Melby said. “However, the prior conviction did not appear on the background check because the individual was charged as a juvenile.”

Because this is part of an ongoing investigation, Melby was unable to provide any additional details concerning the length of Long’s employment and the exact job he performed.

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