Wall trial to begin Monday

Witnesses named for court proceeding

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Timeline

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.

Oct. 28

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.

Oct. 31

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.

Dec. 19

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.

Jan. 18

Smith files an appeal of Julian's decision to uphold the State Patrol's revocation of Wall's drivers license.

March 4

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.

April 29

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.

June 9

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.

— 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.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210 or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

spukomy 6 years, 5 months ago

Hope the jury doesn't get too intimidated. Wall is gonna pack the courtroom full. But even if the Pope shows up to testify on Wall's behalf, he still broke the law by not submitting to a test. It seems so perfectly obvious. He knew the consequences. Shame, shame.

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

No:Its all about Wall::.and the fact that one of the ways he makes his living is being a professional witness involving drunk drivers, rules don't apply to him, no one has authority over him, and so on::.

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

While a defense attorney's job is to ensure that his client is not held accountable for his actions, everyone is under observation in this trial. The State, the Judge, the Attorneys and the witnesses. More importantly its to make sure that the proper application of the Law is applied and the jury knows the difference between a melodrama-potboiler of a trial, and the shoulda, couldas, wouldas.

This is a good time to pay Trial Bingo. Lets see how many of these items pop up in the trial.

Whining about a fair trial Bellyaching and crying Finger pointing Claims of adequate representation Perjury Professional education, training and certification Juror pity vote Fraud Specialized knowledge or expertise More motions to suppress evidence Drama Everyone else's fault but mine Unfulfilled promises Grudges Disgruntle employees Expert witnesses Claims of a flawed trial Appeals Due Process Fundamental rights Shoulda, coulda woulda Ex relationships Competent Confrontation Motion to move trial Contradictory accounts of what occurred Medical condition Conspiracy Employees protecting their job Bystanders and their cell phones

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BAR_UE 6 years, 5 months ago

Gary should invest in a scooter...they don't require a license to drive if less than 50cc...

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 5 months ago

Although I believe everyone deserves a fair trial I also believe in accepting personal responsibility.

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StbtWatchmen 6 years, 5 months ago

If Sheriff Wall is found guilty, he should do the honorable thing and resign his position! It is a shame this has had to happen. The general public will blacken the eye of many a good cop because of leadership failures!

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

My favorite postings, articles and insinuates

I am blameless, but will try and suppress evidence anyway Employees are out to get me The police are out to get me Council is out to get me State enforcement officers are out to get me My x friends are out to get me My x employees are out to get me I forgot to copy and paste policies regarding carrying a gun My investigators cannot interrogate, oops I mean interview the State Patrol officers People at the party may be out to get me Colorado Department of Revenue (well?) Someone with a cell phone is out to get me The Russians may be after me

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dundalk 6 years, 5 months ago

Co Justice:

You forgot the "bounty" in your list of excuses. He He!

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sieverding 6 years, 5 months ago

Wall wouldn't go for a trial if he didn't think he had a chance. Maybe he is hoping for jury nullification.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

dundalk- You were supposed to say "alleged" before. How are you doing, by the way? Send me a PM.

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rlawson4 6 years, 5 months ago

As an attorney, I always find that people do not seem to believe in the presumption of innocence until it is someone they know charged with a crime. Why not let him have his trial and see what happens? If convicted, punish him accordingly. If convicted, he should resign or be recalled. However, refusal to submit to a breath test, although relevant in the case, does not mean he is PRESUMED Guilty. If that was true, we would have trial by breath testing machine. In fact, the breath test can also be inaccurate depending on certain psychological factors as well as machine malfunctions. It is a computer that can fail. How many times does your computer have to restart? Finally, before anyone accuses me of being his attorney or have some local agenda, I live and practice law in Atlanta, Georgia. I have no dog in this fight accept an understanding of the presumption of innocence. It is a Constitutional Right that I hold close to my heart, a right that people seem to discover when it is a friend or family member charged with a crime. Let the trial go on. I wish I was there to watch.

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justathought 6 years, 5 months ago

The best lead by example, Routt County deserves better.

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spukomy 6 years, 5 months ago

rlawson4, I hear ya. I was on a jury a few months ago. Going in, I thought the defendant was surely guilty. In the end I couldn't believe the DA took this to trial, as they couldn't prove their case. Presumption of innocence is often overlooked. A friend of mine has jury duty for this trial. Hope he gets picked since I can't attend.

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

Outstanding. . . . . . . . spoken like a true DUI defense attorney. "machine malfunctions",

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

Remember, Wall is a professional witness, he knows that if he refuses testing, no one has evidence. He is counting on a jury just like you.

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ffv 6 years, 5 months ago

Rlawson4

If you have no dog in this fight then why are you on this blog? Did you accidentally type in the Steamboatpilot website while eating a Chili-cheese dog and drinking an FO from the "V"?

The Constitution is just words on a piece of paper. For those words to work the people must believe in it but more importantly believe and trust those sworn to protect it and serve it. How can we believe a sheriff who refuses a simple test which can be validated by other testing (e. g. blood tests).

By the way your computer analogy is ignorant. You are alluding to a specific operating system - Windows and I'll bet you "breathalyzers" don't run on the Windows O/S.

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tedwhetherby 6 years, 5 months ago

It seems that most involved in this blog refuse to participate or have confidence in the very legal process which Wall opted out of when he denied a breathalizer test. If you lack confidence in the court system which has been set up to judge innocence or guilt, why would you blame Wall for not participating in certain aspects of it also when he doubts motives. Finding fault with Wall for refusing a breathalizer test is commesurate with you alls refusal to accept a courts finding that he may have been innocent. So while you indite Wall now, you are really displaying your own frustration, resignation and mistrust of your own legal system as well as your own part in it. Very well but mostly telling of you not Wall or the court system.

If you are trying to blame Wall for being a sheriff involved in opting out of test he didn't believe was just at that time, very well, however not taking a breathalizer test isn't an by any a law andadmission of quilt. Law requires that one simply loses a liscense for a year. Which is in place now. So if you are judging Wall for his lack of acceptance of the legal system's laws and processes in place, you are guilty of the very refusal of acceptance of the very state laws and process's in place in which you are paying taxes to have in place. While it isn't illegal for you to verbally state your opinions on this blog, you display that same spite for due process and refusal of acceptance of legal process in which you judge Wall of. His defense of himself as both a Sheriff and citizen is his defense of the very legal system in place to protect you. Deny his rights, you kill your own.

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inowatsup 6 years, 5 months ago

I hope that before his witnesses take the stand he admitted to drinking alcohol at the chamber event. You can say what you want but he admitted to it. and be careful what you say because it will hurt you and the way the community will look at you and maybe contempt.

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