Tuesday, February 17, 2004
The first court appearance for a Wisconsin hunter charged with criminally negligent homicide was postponed from Tuesday to March 23.
Douglas Jones' attorney, Sherman Romney, asked that the appearance be continued for six weeks so the defendant and District Attorney's Office could work out a plea agreement.
The DA's Office did not contest the motion, and Routt County Judge James Garrecht granted the continuance.
On Jan. 6, Jones was charged with criminally negligent homicide in the Sept. 20 death of Gerald Holverson. Holverson, 44, died from a black-powder gunshot wound during a hunting trip in South Routt County. Reports from the DA's Office indicate Jones, 44, mistook Holverson for an elk and shot him.
Jones was given a felony summons to appear in court Tuesday, but on Friday, Romney filed for a continuance allowing Jones not to make the trip from Wisconsin. Jones is required to be present for his first appearance in court.
The motion noted that each trip to Colorado is costly for Jones, who lives in South Wayne, Wis., and places strain on his employer. Jones has used all his vacation days because of the case, the motion noted.
The DA's Office has not had time to develop a plea offer and has to speak with the investigators, victims and other people involved before making an offer, the motion stated.
Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James indicated the end of March would give enough time to have plea offer negotiations, the motion stated.
"The counsel for the defendant and Mr. St. James agree that it would be expedient to conduct plea negotiations early in the case to avoid unnecessary travel," the motion reads. "The District Attorney's Office does not contest the request to continue the first appearance to give the parties time to develop a plea offer and then to consider the offer."
DA reports indicate Jones shot Holverson early in the morning of Sept. 20. The two were part of a six-member hunting trip on Bureau of Land Management Land about a mile west of Waller Reservoir in the King Mountain area of South Routt.
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