Oct. 27, 2007
Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall is pulled over by the Colorado State Patrol at Walton Creek Road and U.S. Highway 40 for an alleged failure to dim his headlights. He is subsequently cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. Wall was returning from a Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association celebration. The State Patrol revokes Wall's driver's license because he refuses any tests of his blood alcohol level. Wall later appeals the revocation and is issued a temporary license while awaiting a hearing with the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Reached on his cell phone while returning from a World Series game in Denver, Wall denies the charges: "I did not consume anything that would have affected my ability to drive." Wall continues to affirm his innocence in the days following, but Wall and his lawyer, Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith, have not commented on the charges outside of the courtroom for months.
14th Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James files a motion for appointment of special prosecutor. Mark Hurlbert of the Fifth Judicial District is assigned the case. Hurlbert later assigns the case to one of his deputies, Karen Romeo.
Department of Revenue hearing officer Art Julian upholds the State Patrol's yearlong revocation of Wall's driver's license after a telephone hearing. In his decision and order, Julian writes that he found the troopers' testimony more credible than testimony delivered on Wall's behalf.
Jan. 16, 2008
Routt County Judge James Garrecht recuses himself from the case. Senior Judge Cecil Wayne Williams, a veteran of the Grand County bench, is later appointed to the case.
Smith files an appeal of Julian's decision to uphold the State Patrol's revocation of Wall's drivers license.
In a telephone hearing, Smith says Wall is prepared to enter a plea in the criminal case, but all parties agree to reset that case to trail Wall's appeal of his license revocation.
Williams reaffirms Julian's decision to uphold the State Patrol's yearlong revocation of Wall's driver's license. Wall pleads innocent. A jury trial in the criminal case is set to begin July 14.
After a four-hour motions hearing, Williams denies two motions to suppress evidence made by the defense, which claimed there lacked reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop and probably cause for the arrest. Williams disagreed.
Steamboat Springs The jury trial of Sheriff Gary Wall begins Monday at the Routt County Justice Center, and Wall himself is on a list of potential witnesses who could defend the county's top law enforcement officer against charges that he drove drunk nine months ago.
Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith, Wall's lawyer, specifically named 30 witnesses who may be called during the three-day trial, which begins with jury selection at 8:30 a.m. Monday.
Smith's Rule 16 Disclosure also lists the nature of Wall's defense as "general denial." With some overlap with Smith's list, the prosecution's Rule 16 Disclosure names 24 potential witnesses. Special prosecutors Karen Romeo and Anne Francis of Eagle County are prosecuting the case.
Smith's witnesses are Wall; Lauren and Bill Hamil; Linda and David Cullen; Win and Elaine Dermody; Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Jordan; Ren and Heather Martyn; Cam Boyd; Lisa and Tom Douglas; former Steamboat Springs City Councilman Paul Strong; Rachael Shiebler; Jeffrey Dean Johnson; Eric and Kathy Steinberg; Diane Townes; Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies Lance Eldridge and Mark Mackey; former City Council President Susan Dellinger; Pres Plumb; Kris Dodd; Betse Grassby; Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association; former Sheriff's Office Deputy Elise Andres; Andres' husband, Jim Hinton; Wall's wife, Jenny Wilson; and Timothy Rison.
David Cullen is a friend of Wall's who attended the Oct. 27, 2007, Chamber centennial celebration at Sidney Peak Ranch. Wall was returning home from the event when he was pulled over by the Colorado State Patrol at U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road for an alleged failure to dim his headlights. Cullen immediately defended the sheriff in local and Denver media.
Jordan also attended the Chamber function and is among several people who have submitted sworn affidavits supporting Wall's defense that he had, at most, one drink at the Chamber celebration. Several other witnesses, including Boyd and Strong, also were guests at the Chamber celebration.
The Steinbergs, Grassby and Smith, Wall's lawyer, were contributors to his 2006 campaign for Routt County sheriff. Eldridge was called to the scene of the Oct. 27 traffic stop to drive Wall and his then-girlfriend Wilson home. In previous proceedings, Smith has said Eldridge's testimony is key to the defense's claim that the strong odor of alcohol cited by troopers was emanating from Wilson, not Wall.
In a previous hearing, Smith portrayed Andres as a disgruntled former employee involved in a plot to frame Wall for drunken driving. State troopers confirmed that Hinton, Andres' husband, was at the scene of Wall's traffic stop taking pictures with his cell phone.
The prosecution's witnesses are troopers Brett Hilling and Melissa Fowler, Capt. Brett Williams and Sgt. Scott Elliott of the Colorado State Patrol; deputies Eldridge, Mackey and Kurtis Luster, investigators Ken Klinger and Mike Curzon and Sgt. Troy McDaniel of the Routt County Sheriff's Office; Investigator Gerry Sandberg of the Fifth Judicial District; Townes; Johnson; Shiebler; Dodd; Evans Hall; Ian Pritchard; the Hamils; Heidi Thomsen; the Cullens; Lisa Douglas; and Plumb.
Fowler initially pulled Wall over for the alleged failure to dim his headlights. She called Hilling to the scene to take over the traffic stop, which resulted in the sheriff being cited with three misdemeanors for failure to dim, suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and prohibited use of a weapon. Klinger and Curzon, with Sheriff's Office Sgt. Miles DeYoung, were tasked with conducting an internal affairs investigation into the charges against Wall.
Wall already has lost his license for one year for refusing any tests of his blood alcohol level after being pulled over. That decision was upheld on appeals to the Colorado Department of Revenue and District Court. Should Wall be convicted of DUI in his criminal trial, he would face another yearlong suspension of his driver's license.
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