Case gets special prosecution

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A judge ruled Tuesday that a special prosecutor should be appointed in the case of a Steamboat Springs man charged with vehicular assault.

Eric Thomas Sullivan, 31, was arrested July 9 on two counts of vehicular assault, a Class 4 felony, after he lost control of the vehicle he was driving and injured the two passengers he had with him. Police think alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Sullivan is the son of Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan. Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James requested a special prosecutor to remove any potential conflicts of interest.

Judge James Garrecht agreed with the request and appointed the Glenwood Springs District Attorney's Office to handle the case.

Eric Sullivan was driving a 1994 Jeep Wrangler on June 15 on Buffalo Pass Road when he lost control of the vehicle and it rolled 1 1/4 times, ejecting all three occupants, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Passengers Cheryl Mae Gartz, 20, and Tohna Mari Nadu, 29, both of Steamboat Springs, were injured in the accident. Gartz was flown to Denver Health Medical Center, where she remained in the Intensive Care Unit for two weeks before being released July 7. Nadu was treated and released from Yampa Valley Medical Center on the day of the accident.

Court documents show that Eric Sullivan's blood-alcohol content was 0.195 when it was taken after the accident. He was arrested and later was released on $5,000 bond.

Colorado State Patrol Officer Melissa Remner investigated the accident.

Tom Sullivan said that he did not know what St. James' reasons were for removing himself from the case and did not see how his position had anything to do with his son's case.

"My role with Routt County has nothing to do with Eric's case," Tom Sullivan said. "My son is 31 years old, and he will have to suffer the consequences of the decisions he made."

Eric Sullivan's attorney, Cheryl Hardy-Moore, said that having special prosecution represent a case such as this is not unusual and that it alleviates the concern that Eric Sullivan would receive any special treatment during his case because his father works for the county.

Sullivan will appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 24.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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