Steamboat briefs for Nov. 7

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Sheriff's court date moved to Nov. 27

— Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall's first court date on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and prohibited use of a weapon has been rescheduled to 8:30 a.m. Nov. 27. Wall initially wasn't scheduled to appear in Routt County Court until Jan. 8.

According to a court order signed Nov. 1 by Routt County Judge James Garrecht, "As the Court understands there are not any chemical tests that need to be analyzed and since the defendant has already retained counsel, there is not any reason to delay this matter for 10 weeks for a first appearance." Garrecht's order also indicates a senior judge likely will be appointed to handle the case.

Wall was cited Oct. 27 for DUI and a related weapons charge by Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brett Hilling. Wall was pulled over at U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road for allegedly failing to dim his headlights.

Wall has said he didn't take any roadside sobriety tests, and Garrecht's court order appears to confirm that Wall also didn't take any chemical tests as a result of the traffic stop.

Both Wall and the State Patrol have said little about the incident, although Wall has insisted he wasn't intoxicated. Wall is being defended by Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith, who has declined to comment about the case. The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office has handed over the case to special prosecutor Mark Hurlbert, the district attorney for the Fifth Judicial District.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today filed an open records request last week for any police reports related to Wall's traffic stop, including audio tapes of State Patrol communications made during the traffic stop and any video footage captured by a patrol vehicle's in-unit camera. That request was denied because the documents are "criminal justice records," according to a notice sent by State Patrol Sgt. Harold Stevenson.

Comments

Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

Well said Hburg. I like the question you pose about respecting your civil right not to die in a car crash because some drunk decides to drive. Thanks for the great post.

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mud 6 years, 5 months ago

"when we catch you driving under the influence this holloween weekend or any time, you will be arrested. No exceptions, no excuses." 8rix-Do you want to live in a society where people with power are above the law?

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canudigit 6 years, 5 months ago

I am glad the judge moved the court date. If they delay and delay and delay maybe Wall's lawyers think they can hold off on any charges or sentencing until after his term is up. I doubt that anything will happen to him. Don't you think that he will just show up and the judge will throw everything out because "no chemical tests" were performed?

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

Hi Pt22:

Please direct your time to the state procedure for DUI cases. Therein you shall find all you yearn for. I understand the difference between the two - do you?

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dogd 6 years, 5 months ago

Hope Hurlburt does a more effective job than he did with Kobe.

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

Id says: "Any sane person in that situation would know that it was going to be impossible to act in the capacity of a sheriff with a suspended drivers license."

Should we put emphasis and italics on the word "sane"?

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

Civil disobedience: is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government which do not make any sense and/or discriminate against people, or of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence. It is one of the primary tactics of nonviolent resistance.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

musknosumpin- Ain't gonna happen. The court order in the article even states that there was no chemical test. Somebody not only dropped the ball on this one, but picked it back up and ran it into the wrong endzone, and did a "spinnaroonie!"

Everyone who gets a DUI from here on out take note of this case: This may just set a legal precedent! Use it as you see fit!

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Ms_E_Bronte 6 years, 5 months ago

What's the final date he can become POST certified? Maybe his original court date and his POST certification due date were in conflict with eachother.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

Hburg- Soooo...the unidentified female in Wall vehicle at the time was Tawana Brawley?

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justathought 6 years, 5 months ago

I won't fault CSP until the facts are made public, for one thing their explanation of not arresting someone they know the identity of, that can't flee a court date makes a lot of sense. Someone didn't necessarily drop the ball, anyone can refuse the tests and that is where we will see if Wall gets special treatment, when we find out the status of his drivers license. I won't give Wall the benefit of the doubt because he should never have put himself in that position, an on duty, armed sheriff should never take that first drink. Arrogance, liquor, and stupidity do not mix.

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la_opinion8rix 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't know Sheriff Wall, but I met the man once and was impressed with his concern with Civil Rights -- civil rights that were being squashed in the old administration, such as the right to remain silent, the right of due process, the right of private domain...

Rumors fly in small towns such as ours, and rumor has it that a disgruntled former employee from the Wiggins camp called a friend in the police force to pull Wall over. No proof or knowledge was required -- only speculation and a grudge.

Come on, you guys! We finally have a sheriff who wants to give civil rights back to the people and you are cheering for the neo-Nazis! Will your fascist mob-mentality so cheerfully kick in if you are pulled over because a pissed-off former girlfriend/boyfriend or employee reports you as under the influence because they saw you drinking a beer with a friend? Do you want to live in a society that awards ratting out the neighbors -- regardless of proof or knowledge? They take his rights away and yours are next. And yes, we DO have the right to refuse testing. Know the laws. Know your rights. By knowing our civil rights we don't have to give them away.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

Laopinion8trix- Prove your rumor about the disgruntled employee. If you can't, step aside and let the court do it's thing. All you did right there was put your own rumor out there with no fact to back it up. That makes you no better than those you are admonishing. The proof could have come quite easily. All Wall had to do was go with the CSP to the Office and blow the tube. It would have either proved he was drinking or proved otherwise. Wall's the Sheriff- why would he set this example for his constiuents?

So far, whose civil rights has Wall protected? Just because someone "wants" to protect them doesn't mean they "will" protect them. If my neighbors are doing something against the law, then yes: I do want to rat them out to get them OUT of the neighborhood. If I suspect they are doing something wrong, then yes: I'm going to rat them out to make a proper officer investigate the claim.

You are also missing the point: any non-Sheriff would never have been just let go. By refusing the test (look up the Colorado statutes that have been provided in other threads) it's an automatic suspension of license until it can be proven otherwise. Also, I have never known an officer to not take a person to be booked at the jail for a DUI suspicion. Ever.

See ya on the "flipside."

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 5 months ago

Nazis? Fascist Mob? Wow, I guess you must be an anarchist since you seem to disdain the rule of law. If your "rumors" prove be true and his current innocence is validated in a court of law, then so be it. If not, then do you respect my civil right to not die in a car crash because some drunk decides to drive? Also, I have no greater respect then that which I hold for our Constitution. I would caution though, that those that all too often espouse civil rights in court are more interested in legalistic loopholes that the common man will never gain access to. Interesting slant, Gary Wall as the "Martyr" willing to stand up for our civil rights... kinda has an Al Sharpton ring to it.

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

Keilbasa: Tawnya Brawley -CLASSIC. Love it. Knowing what his lady-thing looks like, I can understand how the two can be so easily confused.

Canudigit: Wall's refusal to take the roadside tests will now be used as evidence against him in his case. People,,,,,,,PREPONDERANCE OR THE EVIDENCE vs. REASONABLE DOUBT...Look it up. Gary Wall isn't going to find it so easy to get out of this mess.

La Opinion: Even IF someone called the CSP or dispatch or Peter Pan to "have Wall pulled over", it still does not negate the fact that CSP, who are experts in DUI enforcement, originally got Wall for the easy and viable, "failure to dim one's headlights". Your supposition is weak. How also would some "disgruntled" person know that Wall would have a LOADED 22 in his possession; a clear violation of the laws which he should be fully keen on given the fact that he oversees the CCW permits for this county?

Go back to the porcelain God and rethink your OPINION. Catch you on the FLIPSIDE, flippy.

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

I understand that. This nonsense of "no roadsides, etc"... and "forensic evidence" can be easily misconstrued. I suppose if a lay person did a little digging beyond emotional reasoning, one could easily see that Wall's refusals do not give him an open and shut case; inasmuch as him "getting away" with this alleged crime. Hence my continued emphasis on the application of evidence in DUI cases.

It will be interesting to see what the patrol mounted cameras caught, who exactly drove the Sheriff away from the scene, if the person driving Wall home called into to dispatch to report their passengers, and to see if Wall actually got out of the vehicle at all. Of course, if, as Stompk has asserted, Wall was "pulling someone over" , such "impersonating an officer" would also be caught on film.

My oh my...what a quandary we have here.

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

Pt: You gotta love those defense attorneys and their "free" legal advice websites. I wonder how much business this guy gets from his helpful webpage?

As many have already stated on this and previous threads - Wall's creditability is shot and regardless of the outcome, Wall had opened a huge can of failure and tossed the contents upon this county.

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

Pt:

One might be curious as to those who actually put Wall in office. But for the small percentage of business owners and white collar people, it is my opinion that the average age of his supporters were the first time voters, 18 y/o, those with small criminal backgrounds (DUI, run-ins with the law, the civil liberties yahoos and rebel Haight-Ashbury/Woodstock baby boomers from a wilted flower power age) and those fed up with their inner struggles and the GOP. So, aside from the percentage of actual white collar voters, one might presume that some of his supporters are now going to savvy up to the notion that they too can use the easily coined phrase, "The Gary Wall Defense". I may be shooting at fish in a small pond, but I see Wall as on the way out, with his little tin badge affixed to his stained yolk, tarnished and hanging slightly askew.

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

Dogd:

Kobe Bryant, a tall black man, who until then, was a respected professional athlete who got his between the legs ego in trouble with a woman. To this day I am neither convinced of his innocence or guilt. That being said, I hope that this special investigator puts emphasis on the case at hand. Perhaps constant international media coverage, Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and other black civil rights pontificators will make an appearance on Gary Wall's behalf.

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id04sp 6 years, 5 months ago

If Sheriff Wall was drinking while in possession of a weapon, that is a matter for the authorities to handle. Let the system and the law play it out.

What proof do I have that he was drinking while carrying a weapon? None. Only what's been posted here. I really hope he was in the clear on these charges. If not, however, I can't support him. It's as simple as that.

As for the alleged "refusal" to take a roadside or chemical BAC test, we only know he didn't take one. That does not mean that he was requested to take one. If not, then the officer involved must have seen that there was no probable cause, or just blew it if there was.

I suspect that the outcome of the hearing will be be as follows: Case dismissed due to lack of evidence as a result of the officers not requiring a BAC test. Without such evidence, the weapons charge will probably be dismissed too.

I too have serious doubts about this encounter, and believe that Wall was probably targeted in hopes of catching him intoxicated.

If Sheriff Wall was planning to walk into court and have his driver's license suspended for failure to submit to a BAC test, I think he would probably resign before the hearing. Any sane person in that situation would know that it was going to be impossible to act in the capacity of a sheriff with a suspended drivers license. I really believe that moving up the court date indicates that the evidence won't support an indictment, and that the charges will be dismissed.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

ID- If there was no probable cause, he wouldn't have been issued the DUI summons. As dundalk said, he failed to dim his brights, which is cause to be pulled over. I've had it done to me in 1991. They asked if I was drinking and I had been sober for 1 month at that time.

In Alcohol Education class (for the time I did get a DUI) it was stated that failure to dim brights is a standard sign of possible intoxications, just as weaving is. Wall set himself up on this. I don't think anyone had to do it for him. All he's done so far is stick his foot in mouth every time he's opened it, so far.

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

La_opinion: I think you have Civil Rights confused with Civil Disobedience. That's what Walls performance was, yes performance:just plain Civil Disobedience. No one ever lost their Civil Rights, is that what you call protecting the public now? Is that the new Wall administrative name for refusing testing? People that think like you, kill innocent people::who's protecting their rights:..the victims.

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JQPUBLIC 6 years, 5 months ago

id04... His own words "I did not drink anything in any quantity" tells me he drank, he just DIDN'T THINK he drank enough to impair his ability to drive. Even if he wasn't requested to take a test (we now know he was) a man in his position should want to clear himself beyond any doubt (if he hadn't had a drink) and he would have requested one. Any decent, innocent sheriff would have known that this would save his reputation. There is no way a man with an ego the size of Wall's is going to resign.

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id04sp 6 years, 4 months ago

So, did this hearing scheduled for Nov 27th happen?

Does anybody know? Today is the 28th.

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Brent Boyer 6 years, 4 months ago

id04sp: The hearing was rescheduled for Dec. 4.

Brent Boyer Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today

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