Assistant DA declines jail report

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— The prosecutor from the Routt County District Attorney's office who successfully argued Jared Wayne Maynard needed to be put in jail will not review an investigation regarding the hanging of the young man.
The 20-year-old Houston, Texas, man hanged himself in the Routt County Jail on the evening of Oct. 29.
Maynard, who had just started serving an 18-month jail sentence, died at a Denver hospital Oct. 31.
Because of the incident, Steamboat Springs Detective Robert DelValle has been conducting an independent investigation of the hanging, along with two investigators from the Routt County Sheriff's Office.
The investigation started Oct. 30, and it has been completed. Before DelValle releases a report regarding the investigation, he was going to meet with Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James.
DelValle was expecting for himself and Routt County Coroner Doug Allen to meet with St. James to review the investigation.
It would have been up to St. James to determine from the investigation if any Colorado statutes have been violated that would require criminal charges to be filed.
The veteran attorney, who prosecuted Maynard, has decided he is not the one from the District Attorney's office who should review the investigation, said District Attorney Paul McLimans.
"I am going to do the review," McLimans said. "It was a suggestion Kerry made because he had been involved in this particular case. It was his suggestion that I be the one that reviews the report."
McLimans believes St. James made the right decision.
"I do not know what his feelings are, but he had been involved in this case," he said. "The conclusion of the investigation might be better received if he did not review the investigation to determine if any improprieties occurred."
St. James had successfully prosecuted Maynard, who was convicted of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft and third-degree assault.
The conviction stemmed from an incident in August when Maynard stole a city ambulance and assaulted a paramedic.
The crime took place in the early morning hours of Aug. 28 on the Colorado Mountain College campus, where Maynard was enrolled as a student.
During the Oct. 26 sentencing hearing, St. James described Maynard's actions as "life-threatening."
He also pointed out to District Court Judge Joel S. Thompson that Maynard had been unsuccessful in three instances where he got treatment for drugs and alcohol at a rehabilitation center.
St. James argued Maynard had been given enough chances and jail time was necessary.
Maynard's attorney and his father were asking Thompson to give Maynard probation so he could get help for alcohol and drugs at a California rehabilitation center.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Thompson gave Maynard the jail sentence and placed him on four years of probation.
McLimans has not talked to DelValle to set up a meeting to review the investigation at this point.
"We have not received anything yet," McLimans said. "I expect for the meeting to occur in the near future."
DelValle is going to try to contact McLimans, who works out of Hot Sulphur Springs, this week to set up a meeting, he said.
"Hopefully, the meeting will be sometime this week or early next week," he said.
Maynard hanged himself in the jail, four days after he began serving the jail sentence.
He was found not breathing, but medical personnel were able to stabilize the man.
He was taken to the Yampa Valley Medical Center and then flown to Denver.
Maynard died at the Denver Health Medical Center after life-support measures were removed at the request of his family.

To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail gsalazar@amigo.net

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