Trial set in attempted murder case

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A 36-year-old Steamboat Springs man charged with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree kidnapping will go to trial Oct. 25.

Todd Griffith, who was charged with five crimes related to allegedly kidnapping and beating his girlfriend, appeared Friday in District Court for an arraignment hearing.

District Court Judge Michael O'Hara set Griffith's four-day trial for Oct. 25 and a pretrial conference for Aug. 16, which is the last day the District Attorney's Office can extend a plea offer.

Griffith will be tried on charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and criminal mischief.

Public defender Ron Smith told O'Hara his client was pleading innocent to those charges and requested a week-long jury trial.

"It seems to me there are a large number of very serious charges that will involve jury instruction," Smith said.

Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said he thought the trial only needed to be two days.

"Unless there are a lot of witnesses that I am not aware of, and I am probably in the dark on this, I don't see this case needing more than two days," St. James said.

On April 8, Griffith had a preliminary hearing in Routt County Court where Judge James Garrecht ruled there was enough evidence for Griffith to stand trial on the five charges.

During the preliminary hearing, Steamboat Springs Police Detective Ross Kelly and Officer Damien Baynes told a grisly story of a day-long incident during which Griffith's 43-year-old girlfriend thought three times he was going to kill her.

The incidents police cited included a struggle at Griffith's trailer in Dream Island, a time when Griffith broke into her brother's residence on Fish Creek Falls Road and finally when Griffith dragged her to his trailer, traveling more than a mile, on Dec. 16.

When the police finally found the victim outside of Griffith's trailer she was bruised, shoeless, covered in snow and frostbitten.

Griffith's defense attorney argued that the woman was a heavy crack cocaine user who may have suffered her injuries in other incidents.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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