Steamboat Springs Senior Judge Cecil Wayne Williams upheld the revocation of Sheriff Gary Wall's driver's license in Routt County Court today, and a jury trial has been set for the drunken driving case against the county's top law enforcement officer.
Williams made short order of Wall's appeal of a yearlong suspension of his driver's license, which was handed down by the Colorado State Patrol on Oct. 27 when Wall refused any tests of his blood alcohol level during a traffic stop. Colorado Department of Revenue hearing officer Art Julian upheld that decision on appeal in December. Wall and his lawyer, Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith, then appealed Julian's decision.
"I don't need to hear any argument in this case," said Williams, who in a previous hearing suggested he would hear arguments from the prosecution and defense. "I am affirming the decision of the hearing officer in this case and denying the petitioner. : This case is done as far as this court is concerned."
Attention then turned to Wall's criminal charges: failure to dim his headlights, driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of a weapon under the influence of alcohol. Smith entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Wall and requested the scheduling of a jury trial.
The case must be tried by Oct. 29; Williams set the trial for 8:30 a.m. July 14. A motions hearing will be held at 11 a.m. June 9.
"I'm going to set it earlier in case we have trouble finding a jury in this fine county," Williams said.
For the same reason, Williams will allow each side two hours to select a jury.
"Of course it's going to be longer than normal," said prosecutor Anne Francis, noting the uniqueness of a DUI case involving a prominent figure in the community. Francis, a deputy district attorney in Eagle County, appeared on behalf of special prosecutor Karen Romeo.
Also notable for a DUI case, the trial is scheduled for three days and Smith said he would be calling approximately 25 witnesses. There will be an alternate juror and Smith asked that the jury be sequestered.