Steamboat Springs The murder-for-hire trial of part-time Steamboat Springs resident Brooks Kellogg has been postponed from its March 7 start date. Now, a March 15 hearing will address his defense’s motion for dismissal of the charges.
No new trial date has been set, an official in the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello said Tuesday.
The defense team led by Denver lawyer Larry Pozner filed its motion for dismissal last month, alleging “outrageous governmental conduct” and accusing the FBI of unjustly targeted Kellogg, a 72-year-old man with no previous criminal history.
In a response to that motion, U.S. Attorney John Walsh called the dismissal effort “devoid of factual allegations which would establish an outrageous conduct defense.” Federal prosecutors also filed three new counts against Kellogg last month.
Kellogg’s trial has been pushed back repeatedly since its initial date in early January.
“This, hopefully, will give us time to complete the necessary investigation before trial,” Pozner said Tuesday about the latest postponement. “We have additional computer records that we’ve asked for.”
Kellogg remains in custody at a federal detention center in Englewood.
He was arrested Oct. 19 at Denver International Airport on suspicion of trying to pay for the killing of Florida developer Stephen Bunyard. In June 2010, Bunyard’s First Land Development won a $2.38 million judgment against Chadwick Estates and Kellogg. The judgment could reach $2.5 million with interest.
The defense’s motion for dismissal says the murder-for-hire plot was engineered by Barbara Blackmore, a 47-year-old Clifton woman and a former Oak Creek resident who the FBI has stated was romantically involved with Kellogg. The motion states Blackmore told the FBI she received more than $40,000 from Kellogg during the past several years and, upon realizing that the “cash line” was severed, attempted to trade information about a murder-for-hire plot “she had personally created and manufactured” for a new Social Security number and relocation at federal expense.
Walsh’s response called the defense’s arguments “broad hyperbole” and unfounded.
“All of the defendant’s allegations center on the believability of Barbara Blackmore. He claims the FBI should not have blindly believed her,” Walsh’s response states. “As noted, the FBI did not accept her word and arrest the defendant. Authorities corroborated her allegations and set up an undercover operation which would confirm them or refute them, from the defendant himself. Unfortunately for the defendant, the defendant supplied confirmation.”
Authorities say Kellogg met with an undercover agent on Oct. 19 at a DIA terminal and handed the agent, who was posing as a contract killer, $2,000 for expenses related to the killing.
Kellogg, of Chicago, is a managing member of Chadwick Real Estate Group in Steamboat. He owns the Old Pilot Building, 1041 Lincoln Ave., and a home overlooking Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club.
On Nov. 3, a federal grand jury in Denver indicted Kellogg on one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire and one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence.
The superseding indictment filed last month adds two counts to the interstate commerce charge and one count of travel with intent that murder be committed.
If Kellogg is convicted on all five counts, he could be sentenced to as much as $1.25 million in fines and, effectively, the rest of his life in prison.
— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com