Witness prompts mistrial

Aggravated driving case compromised by trooper's testimony


— A Routt County District Judge declared a mistrial Thursday in a case about a Craig man accused of driving under revocation. The mistrial was declared after a witness testified about a topic he was ordered not to address.

Wesley Romans, 53, was arrested in November on suspicion of vehicular assault and aggravated driving under revocation after his vehicle collided head-on with another car one mile west of Hayden on U.S. Highway 40. Court documents indicate Romans' license had been revoked at the time of the accident.

Romans' attorney, Ron Smith, said Satur--day that his client was scheduled to have two trials for the two charges he was facing.

Thursday's trial was for the aggravated driving under revocation charge. The vehicular assault trial is scheduled for June.

Smith said District Judge Michael O'Hara ordered the prosecution to not discuss any of the injuries suffered by the people in the accident in which Romans was involved. That order was made because the "injuries to occupants of the other car was not relevant to these charges," Smith said.

During testimony, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Kirk Gardner mentioned the injuries suffered by the occupants in the other car. At about 5:30 p.m., O'Hara declared the mistrial because of Gardner's statements.

A sanctions hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 24, when O'Hara will decide whether the prosecution is responsible for misconduct and will determine the future of the case, Smith said.

Smith said a judge could dismiss the trial, or it can begin anew.

Romans' vehicular assault trail is scheduled to begin June 22.


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