Photo by Brian Ray
Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Steamboat Springs If the prosecution has its way, Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall's driving under the influence trial will not be held in Steamboat Springs.
"I did file a motion to change venue earlier this week," special prosecutor Karen Romeo said Friday. "I spoke to Ron Smith, Mr. Wall's attorney, and they are opposing said motion."
Wall is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, but Romeo's motion could throw a wrench in the current schedule.
"I don't know what's going to happen," Romeo said. "I don't know if the court will hear the motion on the 16th, or if (Routt County Judge James Garrecht) is going to set another court date to hear that motion."
Late Friday afternoon, Garrecht still was considering Romeo's motion. Court clerks did not expect Garrecht to rule on the motion by the end of the day. The case file was in the judge's chambers and not available for review.
Wall was cited for driving under the influence and a related weapons charge in October when he was pulled over by the Colorado State Patrol near the intersection of Walton Creek Road and U.S. Highway 40 for an alleged failure to dim his headlights.
The State Patrol revoked Wall's license because he refused to take a chemical breath test. Wall appealed the revocation to the Colorado De-
partment of Revenue and was given a temporary driver's license. But, in a Dec. 19 hearing, Department of Revenue hearing officer Art Julian upheld the State Patrol's yearlong revocation.
If Wall is convicted of DUI in a criminal trial, he faces an additional yearlong loss of his driver's license.
The potential for a plea agreement still looms over the case, but Romeo said little progress had been made on that front by the end of the week.
"We have not had any more discussions about any potential plea offer," Romeo said. "I'm waiting on (Smith) to receive some additional reports. I anticipate we'll probably have those discussions on Monday or Tuesday."
Also Friday, State Patrol spokesman Sgt. John Hahn described the agency's involvement in an internal affairs investigation being conducted by the Routt County Sheriff's Office.
The investigation, which is being conducted by investigators Ken Klinger and Mike Curzon and Sgt. Miles De Young, was launched immediately following Wall's citation, but is not yet complete.
Hahn said the State Patrol has withheld its full cooperation with the investigation while the criminal trial is pending.
"We're going to hold off until the case has made its way through the courts before we make our officers available for interviews," said Hahn, who noted the State Patrol has provided other information. "We are participating. We've provided the case file in its entirety."