Charges have been dropped against three Steamboat Springs men suspected of being connected to a hit-and-run that seriously injured a Hayden man last summer.
Richard Harris, 32, Patrick Grinage, 25, and Joshua Acord, 23, were accused of helping Thomas Coleman, the driver and owner of a 1983 maroon Porsche 911 convertible that struck and seriously injured Jerry Bryant, 44, of Hayden in downtown Steamboat on June 23.
Senior Judge Joseph Quinn dismissed charges of false reporting and being accessories to a crime after the District Attorney's Office determined it could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
"We did not feel we had enough evidence to go forward with the case," Deputy District Attorney Erick Knaus said.
The three men, subcontractors who had worked for Coleman, told police they were in Breckenridge the night of the incident. They denied having any knowledge of the hit-and-run or talking to Coleman shortly after the incident.
However, police acquired phone records that show numerous phone calls were placed between Coleman's cell phone and Harris', Grinage's and Acord's cell phones between the evening of June 22 and the morning of June 23.
At an April 30 pretrial conference for the three men, Harris' attorney, Erick Nordstrom, asked that a statement Coleman disclosed to police be made available to them before the men's cases went to trial.
In his statement to police, Coleman claimed he could not remember much of his conversations with the three men, Knaus said.
Coleman, a 45-year-old Steamboat Springs resident, pleaded guilty to vehicular assault in February. His sentencing is set for June 16.
He originally faced additional charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to notify police and leaving the scene of an injurious accident.
According to police reports, Coleman hit Bryant about 1 a.m. June 23 near the intersection of Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue, then sped away and later abandoned his sports car.
Bryant's skull and left thumb were fractured and his left knee was injured when he was thrown onto the vehicle's hood, hitting and shattering the windshield, before landing on the street.
Police said Coleman drove another block before turning onto Eighth Street. An officer arrived within minutes of the incident and found the Porsche parked in front of the Antares restaurant at 57 1/2 Eighth St. Coleman was nowhere to be found.
Colorado law requires motorists to remain at the scene of an accident and render assistance as necessary.
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