Steamboat Springs A former Colorado State Patrol trooper charged with abusing his infant son pleaded not guilty in Routt County District Court on Thursday and asked for his case to be heard by his peers.
A jury trial in the felony child abuse case against former Hayden resident Wes Crider was scheduled for Oct. 10.
Crider was charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury in January.
Crider had taken his son Matthew, then 9 weeks old, to the Steamboat Springs hospital and told doctors the baby had fallen off of a futon couch. The infant had suffered brain damage and had to be flown to a Denver hospital for care. Crider was arrested after doctors told authorities they believed Matthew had suffered non-accidental brain trauma complicated by neglect on Crider's part and that the infant's injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Crider was arrested a second time on suspicion of violating his bail bond conditions and violating a restraining order after allegedly contacting his estranged wife in February. A jury trial in that case was set for Nov. 29 and is expected to last two days.
Attorneys for the defense and the prosecution said they expect the child abuse trial in October to take two weeks. Public Defender Bill Schurman said he expects jury selection to take longer than usual because of the nature of the charge and the publicity that Crider has received since his arrest.
Schurman said he had not discussed requesting a change of venue with his client. Schurman indicated that he would wait until the first day of the trial to see if it was difficult to seat a jury.
District Attorney Paul McLimans said he does not expect to file any additional charges against Crider, but indicated he may file a motion with the court regarding "one prior episode we're aware of."
Public Defender Norm Townsend requested that District Judge Joel Thompson modify his client's bail bond conditions so that Crider can leave the state for work. Crider resigned from the state patrol in January and now lives in Fort Collins.
Townsend said Crider has been offered a job with Larimer County fighting forest fires, which may involve working at fires in other states.
Thompson agreed to modify Crider's bond conditions but he held off ruling on a request to modify a restraining order that prohibits Crider from contacting his wife and two children until specific details of the arrangement are worked out.
Crider is scheduled to appear in court on July 14 for a motions hearing.
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